Fatty acid acylation of salivary mucin in rat submandibular glands

Bronislaw L. Slomiany, Varahabhotla L.N. Murty, Atsushi Takagi, Hideaki Tsukada, Malgorzata Kosmala, Amalia Slomiany

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23 Scopus citations


The acylation of salivary mucin with fatty acids and its biosynthesis was investigated by incubating rat submandibular salivary gland cells with [3H]palmitic acid and [3H]proline. The elaborated extracellular and intracellular mucus glycoproteins following delipidation, Bio-Gel P-100 chromatography, and CsCl equilibrium density gradient centrifugation were analyzed for the distribution of the labeled tracers. Both preparations gave single bands at the CsCl density of 1.48, in which carbohydrate peaks coincided with that of the labels. The [3H]palmitic acid in these glycoproteins was susceptible to cleavage by alkali and hydroxylamine, thus indicating the ester nature of the bond. With both intracellular and extracellular glycoproteins deacylation caused the glycoproteins to band in the CsCl gradient at a density of 1.55. The incorporation of both markers into mucus glycoprotein increased steadily with time up to 4 h, at which time about 65% of [3H]palmitate and [3H]proline were found in the extracellular glycoprotein and 35% in the intracellular glycoprotein. The incorporation ratio of proline/ palmitate, while showing an increase with incubation time in the extracellular glycoprotein, remained essentially unchanged with time in the intracellular glycoprotein and at 4 h reached respective values of 0.14 and 1.12. The fact that the proline/palmitate incorporation ratio in the intracellular glycoprotein at 1 h of incubation was 22 times higher than in the extracellular and 8 times higher after 4 h suggests that acylation occurs intracellularly and that fatty acids are added after apomucin polypeptide synthesis. As the incorporation of palmitate within the intracellular mucin was greater in the mucus glycoprotein subunit, it would appear that fatty acid acylation of mucin subunits preceeds their assembly into the mucus glycoprotein polymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-410
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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