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Purification and further characterization of a glycoprotein from the skin mucus of Japanese eels

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A glycoprotein (EGP) was purified from the skin mucus of Japanese eel Anguilla japonica. Apparent average molecular mass of the EGP was estimated to be 500 000. The EGP was found to contain 30·8% NeuAc, 26·4% GalNAc, 6·4% Gal, 0·4% NeuGc and 25·1% Thr‐rich protein. EGP was treated with alkaline borohydride for the release of carbohydrate chains (oligosaccharide alditols). Three carbohydrate chains were isolated from the released carbohydrate chains by Sephadex G‐25 (superfine) gel filtration and HPLC. Using 1H‐NMR spectroscopy, methylation analysis and glycosidase digestion, the structures of the three carbohydrate chains were determined to be NeuAcα2→6GalNAc‐ol, NeuAcα2→3GalNAc‐ol and NeuAcα2→6(GalNAcα1→3)GalNAc‐ol. An overall structure for the sialoglycoprotein from the skin mucus is proposed: the molecule is considered to consist of highly glycosylated 10 glycopeptide units (containing >40 carbohydrate chains) that are linked to the hydroxyl amino acids and spaced on average two amino acids apart.
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Keywords: eel; mucin; mucous glycoprotein; sialoglycoprotein

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Biological Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Honjo-machi, Saga 840-8502, Japan and 2: Laboratory of Food Science, Faculty of Education, Kumamoto University, Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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