Structural heterogeneity of sugar chains in immunoglobulin G. Conformation of immunoglobulin G molecule and substrate specificities of glycosyltransferases

J Biol Chem. 1990 Apr 15;265(11):6009-18.


The heterogeneous asparagine-linked sugar chains of bovine and human immunoglobulins G were separated into 12 components by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography, and their structures were determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Both immunoglobulin (Ig) G sources contained eight non-bisected biantennary complexes and four bisected biantennary complexes. In the non-bisected sugar chains of bovine IgG, galactosylation of the Man alpha 1-3 branch predominated over that of the Man alpha 1-6, whereas in the bisected complexes galactosylation of the Man alpha 1-6 branch predominated. This difference can be explained by the substrate specificities of the galactosyl-transferases and of the N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III involved in their synthesis. The sugar chains of human IgG1 differs in the distribution of its galactose residues from bovine IgG and human IgG2. The Man alpha 1-6 branch of all IgG1s was more highly galactosylated than the Man alpha 1-3 branch even in the non-bisected complexes. Such findings are in conflict with the substrate specificities of galactosyltransferases. Whereas these enzymes derivatized more of the Man alpha 1-6 branch of native human IgG1, in denatured protein more of the Man alpha 1-3 branch was galactosylated. Thus, protein conformation may influence the structure of its sugar chains.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asparagine
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Galactosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G* / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin G* / isolation & purification
  • Immunoglobulin G* / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases*
  • Oligosaccharides / biosynthesis*
  • Oligosaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Reference Values
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Asparagine
  • Galactosyltransferases
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • N-acetyllactosaminide beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase