Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem J. 2004 Dec 1;384(Pt 2):307-16.

Structural diversity and specific distribution of O-glycans in normal human mucins along the intestinal tract.

Author information

Unité Mixte de Recherche CNRS/USTL 8576, Glycobiologie Structurale et Fonctionnelle, IFR 118, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France.


Purified human mucins from different parts of the intestinal tract (ileum, cecum, transverse and sigmoid colon and rectum) were isolated from two individuals with blood group ALe(b) (A-Lewis(b)). After alkaline borohydride treatment the released oligosaccharides were structurally characterized by nano-ESI Q-TOF MS/MS (electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem MS) without prior fractionation or derivatization. More than 100 different oligosaccharides, with up to ten monosaccharide residues, were identified using this technique. Oligosaccharides based on core 3 structures, GlcNAc(beta1-3)GalNAc (where GlcNAc is N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and GalNAc is N-acetylgalactosamine), were widely distributed in human intestinal mucins. Core 5 structures, GalNAc(alpha1-3)GalNAc, were also recovered in all fractions. Moreover, a comparison of the oligosaccharide repertoire, with respect to size, diversity and expression of glycans and terminal epitopes, showed a high level of mucin-specific glycosylation: highly fucosylated glycans, found specifically in the small intestine, were mainly based on core 4 structures, GlcNAc-(beta1-3)[GlcNAc(beta1-6)]GalNAc, whereas the sulpho-Le(X) determinant carrying core 2 glycans, Gal(beta1-3)[GlcNAc(beta1-6)]-GalNAc (where Gal is galactose), was recovered mainly in the distal colon. Blood group H and A antigenic determinants were present exclusively in the ileum and cecum, whereas blood group Sd(a)/Cad related epitopes, GalNAc(beta1-4)[NeuAc(alpha2-3)]Gal (where NeuAc is N-acetylneuraminate), were found to increase along the length of the colon. Our findings suggest that mucins create an enormous repertoire of potential binding sites for micro-organisms that could explain the regio-specific colonization of bacteria in the human intestinal tract.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center