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Mol Cell Biochem. 1991 Mar 27;102(1):71-93.

Subunit structure of deglycosylated human and swine trachea and Cowper's gland mucin glycoproteins.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


The oligosaccharide chains in human and swine trachea and Cowper's gland mucin glycoproteins were completely removed in order to examine the subunit structure and properties of the polypeptide chains of these glycoproteins. The carbohydrate, which constitutes more than 70% of these glycoproteins, was removed by two treatments with trifluoromethanesulfonic acid for 3 h at 3 degrees and periodate oxidation by a modified Smith degradation. All of the sialic acid, fucose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine present in these glycoproteins was removed by these procedures. The deglycosylated polypeptide chains were purified and characterized. The size of the monomeric forms of all three polypeptide chains were very similar. Data obtained by gel filtration, release of amino acids during hydrolysis with carboxypeptidase B and gel electrophoresis in the presence of 0.1% dodecyl sulfate showed that a major fraction from each of the three mucin glycoproteins had a molecular size of about 67 kDa. All of the deglycosylated chains had a tendency to aggregate. Digestion with carboxypeptidases showed that human and swine trachea mucin glycoproteins had identical carboxyl terminal sequences, -Val-Ala-Phe-Tyr-Leu-Lys-Arg-COOH. Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein had a similar carboxyl terminal sequence, -Val-Ala-Tyr-Leu-Phe-Arg-Arg-COOH. The yield of amino acids after long periods of hydrolysis with carboxypeptidases showed that at least 85% of the polypeptide chains in each of the deglycosylated preparations have these sequences. These results suggested that the polypeptide chains in these deglycosylated mucin glycoprotein preparations were relatively homogeneous. The deglycosylated polypeptide chains as well as the intact mucin glycoproteins had blocked amino terminii. The purified polypeptide chains were digested with trypsin-TCPK, and S. aureus V8 protease and the resulting peptides were isolated by gel electrophoresis in the presence of 0.1% dodecyl sulfate and by HPLC. Two partial amino acid sequences from swine trachea mucin glycoprotein, two partial sequences from human trachea mucin glycoprotein and three partial sequences from Cowper's gland mucin glycoprotein were determined. The partial amino acid sequences of the peptides isolated from swine trachea mucin glycoprotein showed more than 70% sequence homology to a repeating sequence present in porcine submaxillary mucin glycoprotein. Five to eight immunoprecipitable bands with sizes ranging from about 40 kDa to 46 kDa were seen when the polypeptide chains were digested with S. aureus V8 protease. All of the bands had blocked amino terminii and differed by a constant molecular weight of about 1.5 kDa.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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