Complex-type asparagine-linked oligosaccharides in glycoproteins synthesized by Schistosoma mansoni adult males contain terminal beta-linked N-acetylgalactosamine

J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 25;264(6):3235-43.


Many studies have shown that the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni contains glycoproteins whose oligosaccharide side chains are antigenic in infected hosts. We report here that adult male schistosomes synthesize glycoproteins containing complex-type N-linked chains that have structural features not commonly found in mammalian glycoproteins. Adult male worms were incubated in media containing either [3H]mannose, [3H]glucosamine, or [3H]galactose, and the metabolically radiolabeled oligosaccharides on newly synthesized glycoproteins were analyzed. Schistosomes synthesize triantennary- and biantennary-like complex-type asparagine-linked chains that contain mannose, fucose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine. Interestingly, none of the complex-type chains contain sialic acid, and few of the chains contain galactose. Since N-acetylgalactosamine is not a common constituent of mammalian-derived N-linked chains, we investigated the position and linkage of this residue in the schistosome-derived glycopeptides. Virtually all of the N-acetylgalactosamine was beta-linked and in a terminal position. The unusual features of the S. mansoni glycoprotein oligosaccharides support the possibility that they may be involved in the host immune response to infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylgalactosamine / analysis*
  • Acetylglucosamine / analysis
  • Animals
  • Asparagine / analysis*
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Chromatography
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Fucose / analysis
  • Galactosamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Galactose / analysis
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Glucosamine / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Lectins
  • Male
  • Mannose / analysis
  • Mannose / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis*
  • Schistosoma mansoni / metabolism*
  • Sialic Acids / analysis


  • Glycoproteins
  • Lectins
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Sialic Acids
  • Fucose
  • Asparagine
  • Galactosamine
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • Acetylgalactosamine
  • Glucosamine
  • Mannose
  • Acetylglucosamine
  • Galactose