Alkaline borohydride-reduced keratan sulphate (KS) chains derived from bovine femoral head cartilage were fractionated by lectin affinity chromatography with Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) into binding and non-binding populations. Analysis of the SNA-binding and non-binding KS chains using 600 MHz 1H n.m.r. spectroscopy showed that the former population contained alpha(2-6)-N-acetylneuraminic acid residues and the latter contained primarily alpha(2-3)-N-acetylneuraminic acid residues as chain terminators. Both populations contained a similar proportion of alpha(2-3)-N-acetylneuraminic acid residues within their protein-linkage regions, and similar sulphation and fucosylation levels. Analysis of these two fractions by gel-permeation chromatography (g.p.c.) on a TSK-30 XL column showed them to have the same size distributions. It was concluded from the n.m.r. spectra and g.p.c. data that the populations differed primarily in the mode of linkage of the chain-terminating sialic acids.
- © 1992 The Biochemical Society, London