Stereospecific glucose transport was assayed and characterized in bovine cardiac sarcolemmal vesicles. Sarcolemmal vesicles were incubated with D-[3H]glucose or L-[3H]glucose at 25 degrees C. The reaction was terminated by rapid addition of 4 mM HgCl2 and vesicles were immediately collected on glass fiber filters for quantification of accumulated [3H]glucose. Non-specific diffusion of L-[3H]glucose was never more than 11% of total D-[3H]glucose transport into the vesicles. Stereospecific uptake of D-[3H]glucose reached a maximum level by 20 s. Cytochalasin B (50 microM) inhibited specific transport of D-[3H]glucose to the level of that for non-specific diffusion. The vesicles exhibited saturable transport (Km = 9.3 mM; Vmax = 2.6 nmol/mg per s) and the transporter turnover number was 197 glucose molecules per transporter per s. The molecular sizes of the cytochalasin B binding protein and the D-glucose transport protein in sarcolemmal vesicles were estimated by radiation inactivation. These values were 77 and 101 kDa, respectively, and by the Wilcoxen Rank Sum Test were not significantly different from each other.