1. In this study, the carbohydrate structure of pure human renin was examined by using various lectins.
2. Pure renin could be separated into three forms by concanavalin A chromatography, a concanavalin A-unbound form, a loosely bound form and a tightly bound form, termed renins A, B and C, respectively. Renins A, B and C accounted for 3, 13 and 84%, respectively, of the purified renin. These forms were all present in individual human plasma and the relative proportions in plasma were 27 ± 3, 33 ± 4 and 39 ± 5% (means ± sem) for renins A, B and C, respectively (n = 5).
3. Each form, electroblotted on to the nitrocellulose sheet after gel electrophoresis, was incubated with five peroxidase-labelled lectins, lentil lectin, erythroagglutinating phytohaemagglutinin, wheat-germ agglutinin, Ricinus communis agglutinin and peanut agglutinin. The protein was stained with 4-chloro-l-naphthol.
4. The staining pattern obtained with these lectins was significantly different among the three forms of human renin, confirming that they have different carbohydrate structures. Furthermore, the positive staining of human renin with erythroagglutinating phytohaemagglutinin, wheat-germ agglutinin and Ricinus communis agglutinin was in contrast with the lack of binding of rat renin to these lectins.
5. These results indicate the renal secretion of differently glycosylated multiple forms of human renin. The carbohydrate structure of human renin appears to differ from that of rat renin.