Role of sulphation in post-translational processing of rat salivary mucins

B. L. Slomiany, Y. H. Liau, Q. Li, Z. Fekete, A. Slomiany

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Segments of rat submandibular salivary gland were incubated in MEM supplemented with 10-800 μM sulphate in the presence of [3H]-glucosamine, [3H]-proline and [35S]-Na2SO4, with 0-8 mM chlorate, an inhibitor of 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphosulphate formation. Incorporation of glucosamine and sulphate depended upon the sulphate content of the medium and reached a maximum at 400 μM sulphate. The introduction of chlorate into the medium, while having no effect on the protein synthesis as shown by [3H]-proline incorporation, caused, at its optimal concentration of 4 mM, a 90% decrease in mucin sulphation and a 29% drop in mucin glycosylation. At low sulphate content in the medium and in the presence of chlorate the incorporation of sulphate and glucosamine was mainly into the low molecular-weight form of mucin. An increase in sulphate in the medium caused an increase in the high molecular-weight form of mucin and in the extent of sulphation in its carbohydrate chain. This effect of sulphate was, however, inhibited by chlorate. The results suggest that sulphation takes place at an early stage of mucin assembly and that sulphate availability is essential for the formation of the high molecular-weight mucin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-790
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


  • effect of sulphation
  • rat
  • salivary mucin
  • synthesis

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