Recombinant human uterine tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), in part metabolically labeled with [6-3H]glucosamine or [35S]sulfate, was isolated from mouse epithelial cells (C127). Oligosaccharides present were liberated by treatment of tryptic glycopeptides with endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase H or peptide-N4-(N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminyl)asparagine amidase F and fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography. The glycans were characterized by digestion with exoglycosidases, methylation analysis and, in part, by acetolysis and 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Glycopeptides comprising individual glycosylation sites were identified by N-terminal amino acid sequencing. The results demonstrate that recombinant tPA from C127 cells carries at Asn117 oligomannosidic glycans with 5-8 mannose residues as well as small amounts of hybrid-type species. Asn184 is only partially glycosylated and substituted by fucosylated triantennary and small amounts of diantennary N-acetyllactosaminic glycans. Likewise, Asn448 carries predominantly fucosylated triantennary species, in addition to, small amounts of diantennary and tetraantennary oligosaccharides. As a characteristic feature, part of the triantennary glycans at Asn184 and Asn448 contain additional Gal(alpha 1-3) substituents and/or sulfate groups linked to position six of beta-galactosyl residues forming NeuAc(alpha 2-3)[HO3S-6]Gal(beta 1-4) units. Oligosaccharides attached to Asn448 are almost completely substituted by (alpha 2-3)- or (alpha 2-6)-linked sialic acid residues and carry the majority of sulfate groups present. Glycans at Asn184 were found to be less sialylated and sulfated.