The luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) is a G protein-coupled receptor that is expressed in multiple RNA messenger forms. The common rat ectodomain splice variant is expressed concomitantly with the full-length LHR in tissues and is a truncated transcript corresponding to the partial ectodomain with a unique C-terminal end. Here we demonstrate that the variant alters the behavior of the full-length receptor by misrouting it away from the normal secretory pathway in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. The variant was expressed as two soluble forms of Mr 52,000 and Mr 54,000, but although the protein contains a cleavable signal sequence, no secretion to the medium was observed. Only a very small fraction of the protein was able to gain hormone-binding ability, suggesting that it is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by its quality control due to misfolding. This was supported by the finding that the variant was found to interact with calnexin and calreticulin and accumulated together with these ER chaperones in a specialized juxtanuclear subcompartment of the ER. Only proteasomal blockade with lactacystin led to accumulation of the variant in the cytosol. Importantly, coexpression of the variant with the full-length LHR resulted in reduction in the number of receptors that were capable of hormone binding and were expressed at the cell surface and in targeting of immature receptors to the juxtanuclear ER subcompartment. Thus, the variant mediated misrouting of the newly synthesized full-length LHRs may provide a way to regulate the number of cell surface receptors.