Glycosaminoglycan accumulation and excretion in the mucopolysaccharidoses: Characterization and basis of a diagnostic test for MPS

S. Byers, T. Rozaklis, L. K. Brumfield, E. Ranieri, J. J. Hopwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


A combination of anion-exchange chromatography and 30-40% gradient polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (gradient-PAGE) was used to purify and characterize urinary glycosaminoglycans from various mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). The urinary glycosaminoglycans from the different MPS displayed distinct patterns on gradient-PAGE and further confirmation of MPS types and subtypes was demonstrated by an electrophoretic shift in the banding pattern after digestion with the appropriate MPS enzyme. Thus each of the MPS accumulates a unique spectrum of glycosaminoglycans with a nonreducing terminal consisting of the substrate specific for the deficient enzyme in that particular MPS disorder. The absolute correlation of the nonreducing terminal structure with a particular MPS and the availability of recombinant lysosomal enzymes provide the means for a rapid and accurate diagnosis of individual MPS. Analysis of tissue glycosaminoglycans in one MPS type (feline MPS VI) indicated a tissue-specific pattern of glycosaminoglycan accumulation. Undegraded glycosaminoglycans had distinct banding patterns on gradient-PAGE and although dermatan sulfate was predominantly excreted in MPS VI urine, some tissues were observed to accumulate predominantly chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans, e.g., bone and kidney. The spectrum of glycosaminoglycans excreted in the urine is therefore most likely a combination of glycosaminoglycans from various tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 1998


  • Diagnosis
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses
  • Tissue glycosaminoglycans
  • Urinary glycosaminoglycans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology

Cite this