Glycolipid composition of human cataractous lenses. Characterization of Lewis glycolipids

T. Ariga, R. V. Tao, B. C. Lee, M. Yamawaki, H. Yoshino, N. J. Scarsdale, T. Kasama, Y. Kushi, R. K. Yu

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31 Scopus citations


We have studied the glycolipid composition of human cataractous lenses. Neutral and acidic lipid fractions were isolated by column chromatographies on DEAE-Sephadex and Iatrobeads. The neutral glycolipid fraction and acidic glycolipid fraction contained 0.6-0.9 μg of lipid-bound glucose (Glc) per mg of protein and 0.8-1.3 μg of lipid-bound sialic acid (NeuAc) per mg of protein, respectively. The neutral glycolipid fraction was found to contain LacCer (39.0% of total neutral glycolipids), Gb3 (16.2%), Gb4 (1.1%), nLc4 (5.0%), X (29.0%), and Y (9.2%). The acidic lipid fraction was found to contain mainly GM3 (33.1% of the total ganglioside fraction), GM1 (8.3%), LM1 (7.3%), GD1a (16.0%), and G (30.1%). The structures of neutral glycolipids X and Y and ganglioside G were elucidated by high performance thin-layer chromatography overlay method of glycolipids, gas-liquid chromatography, proton NMR spectrometry, and liquid secondary ion mass spectrometry as follows: 1) X, Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1'Cer, III3FuncLc4 (Le(x)); 2) Y, Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4(Fucα1- 3)GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1'Cer, V3FucIII3FucnLc6; and 3) G, NeuAcα2- 3Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβ1-3Gal-β1-4Glcβ1-1'Cer, IV3NeuAcIII3FucnLc4 (sialosyl-Le(x)). A minor neutral glycolipid Z was isolated and tentatively characterized as GlcNAcβ1-3?Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4Glcβ1- 1'Cer (GlcNAc-Le(x)), suggesting that it may be the precursor of glycolipid Y. The major long-chain base of these human cataract glycolipids was C18:0 sphingosine (sphinganine). The major fatty acids were C16:0, C24:1 and C24:0, and monounsaturated fatty acids accounted for 40-55% of the total fatty acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2667-2675
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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