The N-glycans from soluble extracts of ten pollens were examined. The pyridylaminated oligosaccharides derived from these sources were subject to gel filtration and reverse-phase HPLC, in conjunction with exoglycosidase digests, and in some cases matrix-assisted laser desoprofessional-articletion-ionisation mass spectrometry. In comparison to known structures, it was possible to determine the major structures of the N-glycans derived from Kentucky blue grass (Poa pratensis), rye (Secale cerale), ryegrass (Lolium perenne), short ragweed (Ambrosia elatior), giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida), birch (Betula alba), hornbeam (Caprofessional-articleinus betulus), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), olive (Olea europaea) and snake-skin pine (Pinus leucodermis) pollen extracts. For grass pollens the major glycans detected were identical in properties to:
Grass pollens also contained some minor structures with one or two non-reducing terminal N-acetylglucosamine residues. In the ragweed pollens, the major structures carried core α1,3-linked fucose with or without the presence of xylose. In tree pollen extracts, the major structures were either xylosylated, with or without fucose and terminal N-acetylglucosamine residues, with also significant amounts of oligomannose structures. These results are compatible with the hypothesis that the carbohydrate structures are another potential source of immunological cross-reaction between different plant allergens.