The biological significance of the tremendous variation in proportions of oligosaccharides and lactose among mammalian milks is poorly understood. We investigated milk oligosaccharides of the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and compared these results to other species of the clade Mustelida. Individual oligosaccharides were identified by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In the striped skunk, six oligosaccharides were identified: isoglobotriose, 2′-fucosyllactose, A-tetrasaccharide, Galili pentasaccharide, 3′-sialyllactose and monosialyl monogalactosyl lacto-N-neohexaose. Four of these have been found in related Mustelida and the other two in more distantly related carnivorans. The neutral and acidic oligosaccharides derive from three core structures: lactose (Gal(β1-4)Glc), lacto-N-neotetraose (Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc) and lacto-N-neohexaose (Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc).
- Milk oligosaccharides
- Striped skunk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)