1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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