Two homologous series of urinary oligosaccharides were identified by h.p.l.c. and fast-atom-bombardment mass spectrometry in feline alpha-mannosidosis. The predominant series has the composition Man2-8GlcNAc2 and a minor series the composition Man2-9GlcNAc. The structure of the most abundant oligosaccharide, which accounts for over 80% of the urinary oligosaccharide, was shown to be alpha-D-Manp(1—3)[alpha-D-Manp-(1—6)]beta-D-Manp -(1—4)-beta-D-GlcpNA c-(1—4)-D-GlcNAc by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Such a structure is consistent with the incomplete catabolism of complex N-linked glycans due to a deficiency of alpha-D-mannosidase in tissue lacking an endohexosaminidase activity.

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