A simple method for the release of oligosaccharides from glycoproteins separated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) has been developed. Asialo-alpha 1-acid glycoprotein, which was tritiated at the nonreducing terminal D-galactopyranosyl residue by reduction with sodium borotritide after incubation with D-galactose oxidase, was used as a model compound. After electrophoretic separation of the glycoprotein, oligosaccharides were released by the use of a gas-phase hydrazinolysis apparatus. In the first method, the gel was stained with Coomassie Blue and the glycoprotein together with the gel was directly subjected to gas-phase hydrazinolysis after removal of water in a P2O5 desiccator. The recovery of released oligosaccharides was 25.9 +/- 2.4%, based on the amount of the glycoprotein loaded on the gel within the range of 3.5-28.5 micrograms. In the second method, the glycoprotein was electroblotted onto an Immobilon transfer membrane and was visualized by staining with Coomassie Blue. A small piece of the membrane with the corresponding band was cut out, dried in a desiccator and subjected to gas-phase hydrazinolysis. In this case, the recovery of released oligosaccharides was 15.2 +/- 1.0%. These procedures, particularly the first one, should be widely applicable for the isolation of oligosaccharides from glycoproteins separated by SDS-PAGE.