Structural features of carbohydrate chains in human salivary mucins

Int J Biochem. 1993 Feb;25(2):259-65. doi: 10.1016/0020-711x(93)90015-7.


1. The structure of carbohydrate chains in the low and high molecular weight mucus glycoprotein forms from submandibular-sublingual saliva of individuals with blood group B was investigated. 2. Alkaline borohydride reductive cleavage of the glycoproteins yielded in each case a population of neutral (55%) and acidic (45%) oligosaccharide alditols ranging in size from 3 to 16 sugar units. 3. The predominant neutral oligosaccharides in both glycoprotein forms consisted of 16 and 15 sugar units arranged in triantennary fashion, and carried blood group B and I antigenic determinants. 4. Three of the oligosaccharides in each glycoprotein contained sialic acid and ranged in size from 3 to 12 sugar units. In two oligosaccharides sialic acid was linked to C3 of galactose and in one to C6 of N-acetylgalactosamine. The sulfated oligosaccharide in both glycoproteins was identified as a pentasaccharide with the sulfate ester group at C6 of N-acetylglucosamine. 5. The results demonstrate that contrary to the earlier view the low and high molecular weight mucus glycoprotein forms of human saliva contain identical carbohydrate chains.

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Adult
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry*
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mucins / chemistry*
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Sialic Acids / analysis
  • Submandibular Gland / metabolism
  • Sugar Alcohols / chemistry
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism
  • beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidases / metabolism


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Carbohydrates
  • Glycoproteins
  • Mucins
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Sialic Acids
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • beta-N-Acetylhexosaminidases
  • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid