Bovine milk glycome

N. Tao, E. J. DePeters, S. Freeman, J. B. German, R. Grimm, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Bovine milk oligosaccharides have several potentially important biological activities including the prevention of pathogen binding to the intestinal epithelial and as nutrients for beneficial bacteria. It has been suggested that milk oligosaccharides are an important source of complex carbohydrates as supplements for the food and the pharmaceutical industries. However, only a small number of structures of bovine milk oligosaccharides (bMO) are known. There have been no systematic studies on bMO. High-performance mass spectrometry and separation methods are used to evaluate bMO, and nearly 40 oligosaccharides are present in bovine milk. Bovine milk oligosaccharides are composed of shorter oligomeric chains than are those in human milk. They are significantly more anionic with nearly 70%, measured abundances, being sialylated. Additionally, bMO are built not only on the lactose core (as are nearly all human milk oligosaccharides), but also on lactose amines. Sialic acid residues include both N-acetyl and N-glycolylneuraminic acid, although the former is significantly more abundant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3768-3778
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Bovine milk
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Oligosaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics


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