Carbohydrate units of cell-surface glycoproteins of mouse B- and T-lymphocytes, labelled in their sialic acid residues by the periodate/NaB3H4 method and in their galactose residues by the galactose oxidase/NaB3H4 method after neuraminidase treatment, have been studied. Glycopeptides were prepared from the labelled cells by Pronase digestion and fractionated by concanavalin A affinity chromatography into two fractions (A and B). Alkali-labile oligosaccharides were isolated after mild NaOH/NaBH4 treatment by gel filtration. The alkali-labile oligosaccharides were further analysed by t.l.c. To study the relative proportion of neutral mannose-rich carbohydrate units (fraction C) in lymphocyte glycoproteins, glycopeptides were also prepared from unlabelled cells and subjected to concanavalin A affinity chromatography after N-[3H]acetylation of their peptide moiety. The major alkali-labile oligosaccharide component of both cell types was identified as galactosyl-(beta 1 leads to 3)-N-acetylgalactosaminitol. T-Lymphocytes were characterized by a high proportion of this oligosaccharide and a lower proportion of alkali-stable fraction A glycopeptides, whereas the opposite was observed for B-lymphocytes. The relative proportions of the concanavalin A-binding fractions B and C were similar in both cell types. The differences observed may correlate with the different surface properties of B- and T-lymphocytes.
- © 1979 London: The Biochemical Society