Sialic acids and the major O-glycosidic oligosaccharide of glycophorin MK from monkey (Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata) erythrocyte membranes were characterized. N-Glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) was found as the major sialic acid, which was confirmed by gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry as the trimethylsilyl methyl ester. Three O-glycosidic oligosaccharide units were obtained from a tryptic glycopeptide that contained all of the carbohydrate units in glycophorin MK by mild alkaline borohydride/borotritide treatment. Carbohydrate analyses of the oligosaccharides revealed that they were composed of Neu5Gc, galactose and N-acetylgalactosaminitol in the molar ratios of 1:1:1 (trisaccharide), 2:1:1 (tetrasaccharide) and 3:1:1 (pentasaccharide). The content of oligosaccharide units was estimated to be 1:12:5 for penta-, tetra- and trisaccharide, respectively, based on the yields, the molecular weight, and the number of oligosaccharide attachment sites in the amino-acid sequence. The tetrasaccharide was the major oligosaccharide and its structure was proposed to be Neu5Gc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-3[Neu5Gc alpha 2-6]GalNAcol.