Characterization of oligosaccharides in milk of a mink, Mustela vison

Tadasu Urashima, Tadashi Nakamura, Akiko Ikeda, Sadaki Asakuma, Ikichi Arai, Tadao Saito, Olav T. Oftedal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Carbohydrates were extracted from a sample of milk from a mink, Mustela vison (Family Mustelidae). Free neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were isolated from the carbohydrate fraction and their chemical structures were compared with those of white-nosed coati (Nasua narica, Procyonidae) and harbour seal (Phoca vitulina, Phocidae) that we had studied previously. The ratio of free lactose to milk oligosaccharides was similar to that in milk of the white-nosed coati; in both species, this ratio was much lower than that in the milk of most eutherians. The neutral oligosaccharides of mink milk had α(1-3)-linked Gal or α(1-2)-linked Fuc residues at their non-reducing ends, as in the neutral oligosaccharides of white-nosed coati milk. Some of the neutral and acidic oligosaccharides, determined here, had been found also in harbour seal milk, but the harbour seal oligosaccharides did not contain α(1-3)-linked Gal residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-471
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec


  • Milk oligosaccharides
  • Mink
  • Mustela vison
  • Mustelidae
  • Neutral oligosaccharides
  • Sialyl oligosaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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