Improvements in the isolation procedure and the analytical equipment enabled the detection of seven novel sialic acids in bovine submandibular gland glycoprotein: N-acetyl-8-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-8,9-di-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-7,8,9-tri-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycoloyl-7-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycoloyl-7,9-di-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycoloyl-8,9-di-O-acetylneuraminic acid, and N-glycoloyl-7,8,9-tri-O-acetylneuraminic acid. There are also indications for the presence of N-glycoloyl-8-O-acetylneuraminic acid. In addition, the sialic acids already known to occur in this tissue, namely N-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-7-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-7,9-di-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycoloylneuraminic acid, and N-glycoloyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid could be identified. Sialic acids were released from the mucin by mild acid hydrolysis and prefractionated on a Dowex 2X8 anion-exchange column (formate form) by elution with a 0-0.6 M gradient of formic acid. The four pools of sialic acids obtained in this way were each further fractionated by column chromatography on cellulose with n-butanol/n-propanol/water (1/2/1, v/v/v) as eluent. By this procedure, N-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-7-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycoloylneuraminic acid, and N-glycoloyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid were obtained in pure form. The other sialic acids could be enriched sufficiently in different fractions for structural identification. Analyses of sialic acids were carried out by one-dimensional and two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography, gas-liquid chromatography, and gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.