Profiling the morphological distribution of O-linked oligosaccharides

Jinhua Zhang, Yongming Xie, Jerry L. Hedrick, Carlito B Lebrilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The morphological distribution of oligosaccharides is determined in the egg jelly surrounding Xenopus laevis eggs. This biological system is used to illustrate a method for readily identifying and quantifying oligosaccharides in specific tissues. The extracellular matrix surrounding X. laevis eggs consists of a vitelline envelope and a jelly coat. The jelly coat contains three morphologically distinct layers designated J1, J2, and J3 from the innermost to the outermost and is composed of 9-11 distinct glycoproteins. Each jelly layer is known to have specific functions in the fertilization of the egg. We developed a rapid method to separate and identify the oligosaccharides from X. laevis egg jelly layers. Identification was based on the retention times in high-performance liquid chromatography (porous graphitized carbon column), exact masses, and tandem mass spectrometry. Over 40 neutral and 30 sulfated oligosaccharides were observed in the three jelly layers. Neutral oligosaccharide structures from different jelly layers were both unique and overlapping, while sulfated oligosaccharides were detected only in layers J1 and J2. Neutral oligosaccharides unique to jelly layer J3 and the combined layers J1 + J2 had similar core structures and similar residues. However, differences between these two sets of unique oligosaccharides were also observed and were primarily due to the branching carbohydrate moieties rather than the core structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Egg jelly layers
  • O-linked oligosaccharides
  • Structure elucidation
  • Xenopus laevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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