1. 1. Gastric mucosal segments were incubated in MEM supplemented with various sulfate concentrations in the presence of [3H]glucosamine, [3H]proline and [35S]Na2SO4, with and without chlorate, an inhibitor of 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate formation. 2. 2. Incorporation of glucosamine and sulfate depended upon the sulfate content of the medium and reached a maximum at 300 μM sulfate. Introduction of chlorate into the medium, while having no effect on protein synthesis as evidenced by proline incorporation, caused, at its optimal concentration of 2mM, a 90% decrease in mucin sulfation and a 40% drop in glycosylation. 3. 3. At low sulfate content in the medium and in the presence of chlorate, the incorporation of sulfate and glucosamine was mainly into the low molecular-weight form of mucin. An increase in sulfate in the medium caused an increase in the high molecular-weight form of mucin and in the extent of sulfation in its carbohydrate chain. 4. 4. The results suggest that the sulfation process is an early event taking place at the stage of mucin subunit assembly and that sulfate availability is essential for the formation of the high molecular-weight mucin polymer.
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