The adhesion of the myelogenous leukemia cell line, HL60, to fibronectin and its fragments, heparin binding fragment (40 kDa) and cell attachment fragment (120 kDa), was enhanced by culturing with benzyl-alpha-GalNAc (BZ alpha GalNAc). Enhancement of cell adhesion to fibronectin was also observed on treatment of HL60 cells with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). However, an additive effect of BZ alpha GalNAc and TPA treatments was not observed. The expression of VLA4 and VLA5 did not change during treatment with BZ alpha GalNAc or TPA. Cell adhesion to fibronectin before and after treatment with BZ alpha GalNAc or TPA was inhibited by anti-VLA4 and anti-VLA5 monoclonal antibodies. Staining of the cells with Helix pomatia lectin demonstrated that culturing of the cells with BZ alpha GalNAc blocked elongation of O-linked oligosaccharides on the cell surface and led to accumulation of GalNAc-O-Ser/Thr. Labeling of cell surface carbohydrates with [3H]-glucosamine followed by treatment with TPA revealed that O-glycosylated glycoproteins including CD43 were released from the cell surface during this treatment. These findings indicate that integrin-dependent cell adhesion, particularly VLA4- or VLA5-dependent cell adhesion, of HL60 cells is prevented with the extension of O-linked oligosaccharides and recovers with the disappearance of O-linked oligosaccharides from the cell surface.