The 13C n.m.r. spectrum of Forssman hapten was obtained at 25.16 MHz in [3H] chloroform/[2H] methanol (1:1, v/v), using purified glycosphinogolipid from canine intestinal mucosa (glycolipid I). All amide, olefin, anomeric, intersaccharide glycosidic ether, amide linkage, methyl and many methylene resonances were resolved and assigned. Analysis of the anomeric region reveals the following pentaglycosylceramide structure as originally proposed [Siddiqui & Hakomori (1971) J. Biol. Chem. 246, 5766-5769]: GalNAc (alpha 1 leads to 3) GalNAc (beta 1 leads to 3) Gal (alpha 1 leads to 4) Gal (beta 1 leads to 1) ceramide. Analysis of the amide, olefin and methylene regions reveals no alpha-hydroxy fatty acyl group and less than or equal to 6 mol% unsaturated fatty acyl groups are present. Chemical-shift assignments are reported for the anomeric and glycosidic ether carbon atoms of intersaccharide-linked alpha-galactose and N-acetyl-alpha-galactosamine residues. Two rules are proposed for the assignment of the anomeric form of 1 leads to 3 and 1 leads to 4 linkages of galactose and N-acetylgalactosamine residues present in the glycone of glyco-conjugates. The present study emphasizes the importance of the anomeric “window” (80-120 p.p.m.) in studies of glycone structure.

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