beta-Trace protein from pooled human CSF was purified to homogeneity. An apparent molecular mass of 23-29 kDa was determined for the polypeptide on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Amino-terminal sequencing of the polypeptide yielded the unique amino acid sequence APEAQVSVQPNFQQDKFLGRWFSA. Alignment of amino acid sequences obtained from tryptic peptides with the sequence previously deduced from a cDNA clone isolated by other investigators allowed the identification of beta-trace protein as prostaglandin D synthase [prostaglandin-H2 D-isomerase; (5Z, 13E)-(15S)-9 alpha, 11 alpha-epidioxy-15-hydroxyprosta-5,13-dienoate D-isomerase; EC 18.104.22.168]. A conservative amino acid exchange (Thr instead of Ser) was detected at amino acid position 154 of the beta-trace polypeptide chain in the corresponding tryptic peptide. The two N-glycosylation sites of the polypeptide were shown to be almost quantitatively occupied by carbohydrate. Carbohydrate compositional as well as methylation analysis indicated that Asn29 and Asn56 bear exclusively complex-type oligosaccharide structures (partially sialylated with alpha 2-3- and/or alpha 2-6-linked N-acetylneuraminic acid) that are almost quantitatively alpha 1-6 fucosylated at the proximal N-acetylglucosamine; approximately 70% of these molecules contain a bisecting N-acetylglucosamine. Agalacto structures as well as those with a peripheral fucose are also present.