Author(s): Yuen CT, Chai W, Loveless RW, Lawson AM, Margolis RU,
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Abstract The monoclonal antibody HNK-1 originally raised to an antigenic marker of natural killer cells also binds to selected regions in nervous tissue. The antigen is a carbohydrate that has attracted much interest as its expression is developmentally regulated in nervous tissue, and it is found, and proposed to be a ligand, on several of the adhesive glycoproteins of the nervous system. It is also expressed on glycolipids and proteoglycans, and is the target of monoclonal auto-antibodies that give rise to a demyelinating disease. The epitope, as characterized on glycolipids isolated from the nervous system, is expressed on 3-sulfated glucuronic acid joined by beta1-3-linkage to a neolacto backbone. Here we exploit the neoglycolipid technology, in conjunction with immunodetection and in situ liquid secondary ion mass spectrometry, to characterize HNK-1-positive oligosaccharide chains derived by reductive alkaline release from total brain glycopeptides. The immunoreactive oligosaccharides detected are tetra- to octasaccharides that are very minor components among a heterogeneous population, each representing less than 0.1\% of the starting material. Their peripheral and backbone sequences resemble those of the HNK-1-positive glycolipids. An unexpected finding is that they terminate not with N-acetylgalactosaminitol but with hexitol (2-substituted and 2,6-disubstituted). In a tetrasaccharide investigated in the greatest detail, the hexitol is identified as 2-substituted mannitol.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics