European journal of biochemistry

Biosynthesis of beta1,4- and beta1,beta1-galactopyranosyl xylopyranosides in the mammary gland of lactating cow.

PMID 10651821


Lactose is a principal carbohydrate in nearly all species of mammalian milk. In order to examine the acceptor substrate specificity of lactose synthase in vivo, D-xylose as an acceptor substrate was injected into the jugular vein of a Holstein cow during lactation, then a milk sample obtained by milking. beta1, beta1-galactopyranosyl xylopyranoside, a nonreducing disaccharide, was separated from the bovine milk sample after elimination of reducing sugars, identified by fast-atom bombardment (FAB)-MS and 1H-NMR analysis. A mixture of beta1,beta1- and beta1, 4-galactopyranosyl xylopyranoside fractions was also obtained by thin layer chromatography from the milk sample and elucidated by electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS and 1H NMR analysis. Comparison of the integrated intensity of the products shows that the beta1,beta1 and beta1,4 isomers are present in a ratio of 1.0 : 1.4, suggesting that D-xylose, transported from capillary blood across the plasma membrane of the mammary gland, was recognized by lactose synthase in its normal and reverse orientation owing to high symmetry of its structure. While the beta1,4-isomer is known as a fragment of the linkage region between the protein and the polysaccharide chain of proteoglycans, the beta1,beta1-isomer has not been identified in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that galactosylation of D-xylose transported from the capillary blood can occur by lactose synthase catalysis in the mammary gland while the usual galactosylation of D-glucose proceeds. In addition, these results suggest that the possibility of endogenous occurrence of the beta,beta-trehalose type disaccharide in the mammary gland of lactating mammals may not be ruled out.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

G5507 Galactosyltransferase from bovine milk, lyophilized powder