Structural characterisation of N-linked and O-linked oligosaccharides derived from interferon-alpha2b and interferon-alpha14c produced by Sendai-virus-induced human peripheral blood leukocytes

Eur J Biochem. 1998 Apr 15;253(2):485-93. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.1998.2530485.x.


We have previously isolated and partially characterised the components of a highly purified interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) preparation produced by Sendai-virus-induced human peripheral blood leukocytes. Nine IFN-alpha species were identified, and two of these were found to be glycosylated [Nyman, T. A., Tölö, H., Parkkinen, J. & Kalkkinen, N. (1998) Identification of nine interferon-alpha subtypes produced by Sendai-virus-induced human peripheral blood leukocytes, Biochem. J. 329, 295-302]. Here, we isolated the N-linked oligosaccharides of IFN-alpha14c and the O-linked chains of IFN-alpha2b, and the glycans were characterised by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry and by specific glycosidase digestions monitored by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time of flight mass spectrometry. The IFN-alpha14c N-glycans were shown to exhibit core-fucosylated biantennary glycans, with about 10% carrying an additional alpha1,3-linked fucose unit at the antennae. The IFN-alpha2b was shown to carry about 50% core type-1 disialyltetrasaccharides, 30% core type-1 monosialyltrisaccharides and 20% core type-2 monosialylpentasaccharides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / isolation & purification
  • Interferon-alpha / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / virology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Oligosaccharides / chemistry*
  • Oligosaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Respirovirus*


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Polysaccharides