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A new neuraminic acid derivative and three types of glycopeptides isolated from the Cuvierian tubules of the sea cucumber Holothuria forskali

, : A new neuraminic acid derivative and three types of glycopeptides isolated from the Cuvierian tubules of the sea cucumber Holothuria forskali. Biochemical Journal 131(3): 509-521

The Cuvierian tubules of Holothuria forskali Della Chiaje, a sea cucumber found in the Adriatic Sea, were investigated with regard to their carbohydrate moieties. From a Pronase digest of these tubules three types of carbohydrate units were isolated and characterized. 1. A high-molecular-weight glycopeptide fraction was shown to contain sulphated polyfucose, galactosamine, a uronic acid and a previously unknown neuraminic acid derivative. The sulphate was shown by i.r. analysis to be present as an O-ester. The carbohydrate unit was linked O-glycosidically to threonine and serine residues in the polypeptide chain. The hitherto unknown neuraminic acid derivative (Hf-neuraminic acid) was resistant to enzymic cleavage by neuraminidase, even after mild alkaline hydrolysis for the removal of O-acyl residues. However, the glycosidic linkage of this compound to the other part of the carbohydrate moiety was readily cleaved by mild acid hydrolysis. Its chromatographic properties distinguished Hf-neuraminic acid from other known neuraminic acid derivatives (N-acetyl-, NO-diacetyl-, NOO-triacetyl- and N-glycollyl-neuraminic acid). Further, this acidic sugar was shown to possess neuraminic acid as its basic structure. Thus, an as yet unknown substituent lends the distinct properties to Hf-neuraminic acid. 2. The carbohydrate composition of a second glycopeptide fraction consisting of a derivative of neuraminic acid, galactose, mannose and glucosamine was similar to that of the well-known carbohydrate groups of the globular glycoproteins. 3. The third fraction contained two glycopeptides containing the disaccharide, glucosylgalactose, which was shown to be linked to the hydroxyl group of hydroxylysine residues of a collagen-like protein. Approximately half of these residues were glycosylated. In addition to these glycopeptides, a small amount of a third glycopeptide that carried only a galactosyl residue was detected. The amino acid sequence of the two major compounds were found to be Gly-Ala-Hyl*-Gly-Ser and Gly-Pro-Hyl*-Gly-Asp, where Hyl* represents a glycosylated amino acid residue.


PMID: 4720712

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