The low-molecular-mass human salivary mucin has at least two isoforms, MG2a and MG2b, that differ primarily in their sialic acid and fucose content. In this study, we characterize further these isoforms, particularly their peptide moieties. Trypsin digests of MG2a and MG2b yielded high- and low-molecular-mass glycopeptides following gel filtration on Sephacryl S-300. The larger glycopeptides from MG2a and MG2b had similar amino acid compositions and identical N-terminal sequences, suggesting common structural features between their peptides. An oligonucleotide probe generated from the amino acid sequence of the smaller glycopeptide from MG2a was employed in Northern-blot analysis. This probe specifically hybridized to two mRNA species from human submandibular and sublingual glands. A cDNA clone selected from a human submandibular gland cDNA expression library with antibody generated against deglycosylated MG2a also hybridized to these two mRNA species. In both cases, the larger mRNA was polydisperse, and the hybridization signal was more intense in the sublingual gland. In addition, the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the larger glycopeptide was found to be part of one of the selected MG2 cDNA clones.