We have recently discovered unusual sugar chains [xylose-glucose and (xylose)2-glucose] linked to a serine residue in the first epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domains of human and bovine coagulation factors VII, IX, and protein Z. The sequence surrounding this serine residue has a common -Cys-X-Ser-X-Pro-Cys- structure. Since one (residues 533-538) of the three EGF-like domains found in human thrombospondin contains the conserved sequence, we examined the presence of such O-linked sugar chains in bovine thrombospondin (bTSP) and its 210-kDa fragment. Component sugar analysis after pyridylamination (PA) of the acid hydrolysates of the S-aminoethylated proteins revealed that the proteins contain glucose (Glc) and xylose (Xyl). The oligosaccharide moieties released from intact bTSP by hydrazinolysis followed by pyridylamination were separated into two PA-oligosaccharides by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Component sugar analysis of these PA-oligosaccharides indicated that they consist of Glc and Xyl in molar ratios of 1:1 and 1:2 (or 1:3). The reducing ends of both PA-sugar chains were found to be PA-Glc, as judged from the retention time of the HPLC peak of their hydrolysates. The presence of these PA-sugar chains in bTSP was confirmed by HPLC mapping with two different columns, using standard PA-di- or PA-trisaccharide derived from coagulation factors. From these results, we concluded that bTSP contains O-linked sugar chains consisting of Glc and Xyl in one of its three EGF-like domains.