Following several model experiments, conditions were developed for optimal deglycosylation of tracheal mucin glycoproteins. Exposure of rigorously dried material to trifluoromethanesulfonic acid at 0 degree C for up to 8 h results in cleavage of essentially all fucose, galactose, and N-acetylglucosamine, about 80% of the N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuNAc), and a variable amount of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), the sugar involved in linkage to protein. Residual N-acetylneuraminic acid is sialidase susceptible and apparently in disaccharide units, presumably NeuNAc2----GalNAc. The remaining N-acetylgalactosamine is mostly present as monosaccharides, and a few Gal beta 1----3GalNAc alpha units are also present; both are cleaved by appropriate enzymatic treatment. The saccharide-free proteins obtained from either human or canine mucin glycoproteins have molecular weights of about 100,000 and require chaotropic agents or detergents for effective solubilization.