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Eur J Biochem. 1978 Apr;85(1):249-54.

ABH-blood-group antigens and glycolipids of human saliva.


The nature of ABH-blood-group antigens in saliva was investigated. Human saliva was examined serologically for ABH-blood-group activity in its native form and after various treatments. The activity of the native form persisted in the delipidated samples, but was entirely lost after alkaline degradation. The lipid portion of saliva was completely inactive in the ABH hemagglutination inhibition system. The same results were obtained when purified glycolipid fraction of saliva was used instead of whole lipid extract. Neither alkaline treatment nor excessive amounts of salivary lipids effected antigenic activity of A-active glycosphingolipids of hog gastric mucosa admixed to saliva samples before alkaline degradation and/or in presence of large amounts of salivary lipids. The isolated glycolipid fractions contained at least eight glycolipids, each of which was composed of glucose, glyceryl ethers and fatty acids and differed from others with respect to number of glucose residues. Sphingosine and sugar residues involved in formation of ABH antigenic determinants were not detected. These findings together with data on stomach secretion [1,2] led us to the conclusion that ABH-blood-group antigens of saliva are exclusively of glycoprotein nature.

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