Heterogeneity of the glycans O-glycosidically linked to the hinge region of secretory immunoglobulins from human milk

Eur J Biochem. 1981;114(1):169-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1981.tb06188.x.


Pure secretory immunoglobulin A was isolated from human milk by fractionation in gradients of pH and (NH4)2SO4 concentration followed by gel filtration. The hinge region containing all the O-glycosidically linked oligosaccharides was isolated en bloc after trypsin and pepsin hydrolysis and separated by gel filtration. The mixture of O-glycosidically linked oligosaccharides contained N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc), fucose (Fuc), galactose (Gal), N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) in the molar ratio of 0.2:0.5:2.5:2:1 respectively. After beta-elimination several oligosaccharides were separated by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and gel-filtration chromatography. The complete structure of four of these oligosaccharides was determined by methanolysis, methylation and mass spectrometry. The structure of the four oligosaccharides which are linked to serine or threonine residues of the hinge region are as follows: beta-Gal-(1 leads to 3)-GalNAc-ol; alpha-HeuAc-(2 leads to 3)-beta-Gal-(1 leads to 3)-GalNAc-ol; beta-Gal-(1 leads to 3)-[beta-GlcNAc-(1 leads to 6)]-GalNAc-ol; beta-Gal-(1 leads to 3)-[beta-Gal-(1 leads to 4)-beta-GlcNac-(1 leads to 6)]-Gal-NAc-ol. These oligosaccharides are more complex and heterogenous than the oligosaccharides linked to serine residues of the hinge region from myeloma serum immunoglobulin A1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Methylation
  • Milk, Human / analysis*
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis*


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Oligosaccharides