The role of carbohydrate in erythropoietin action

Endocrinology. 1985 Jun;116(6):2293-9. doi: 10.1210/endo-116-6-2293.


The carbohydrate composition of human erythropoietin (epo) was determined by micro-GLC. Enzymic removal of most of the sugars results in aggregation of glycosidase-treated epo, loss of biological activity when assayed in mice, and retention of activity when assayed in marrow cell cultures or by RIA. Endoglycosidase F causes the removal of most of the carbohydrates indicating that the oligosaccharides are asparagine linked. The lack of O-linked sugar is confirmed by the absence of N-acetylgalactosamine. These findings indicate that the oligosaccharide portion of epo, although required for action in vivo, is not required for interaction with the target cells of the blood-forming system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrates / analysis*
  • Carbohydrates / physiology
  • Erythropoietin / analysis*
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / pharmacology
  • Molecular Weight


  • Carbohydrates
  • Erythropoietin
  • Glycoside Hydrolases