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Int J Biol Sci. 2005;1(4):126-34. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Glycan analysis of the chicken synaptic plasma membrane glycoproteins--a major synaptic N-glycan carries the LewisX determinant.

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Brain and Behaviour Research Group, The Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK.


The majority of synaptic plasma membrane components are glycosylated. It is now widely accepted that this post-translational modification is crucial during the establishment, maintenance and function of the nervous system. Despite its significance, structural information about the glycosylation of nervous system specific glycoproteins is very limited. In the present study the major glycan structures of the chicken synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) associated glycoprotein glycans were determined. N-glycans were released by hydrazinolysis, labelled with 2-aminobenzamide, treated with neuraminidase and subsequently fractionated by size exclusion chromatography. Individual fractions were characterized by the combination of high-pressure liquid chromatography, exoglycosidase treatment or reagent array analysis method (RAAM). In addition to oligomannose-type glycans, core-fucosylated complex glycans with biantennary bisecting glycans carrying the LewisX epitope were most abundant. The overall chicken glycan profile was strikingly similar to the rat brain glycan profile. The presence of the LewisX determinant in relatively large proportions suggests a tissue-specific function for these glycans.

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