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Proteomics. 2001 Jun;1(6):748-55.

Determination of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol membrane protein anchorage.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT.


A diverse range of proteins are modified by the post-translational covalent attachment of a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor. Hydropathy plots and other computer algorithms can be used to predict the presence of a GPI anchor attachment signal in the nascent polypeptide chain. However, the presence of a GPI anchor on the mature protein requires experimental evidence, including sensitivity of the protein to release from cells or membranes with bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, recognition by anti-cross-reacting determinant antibodies, or metabolic labelling with components of the anchor. GPI-anchored proteins are resistant to solubilisation with detergents such as Triton X-100 due to their association with cholesterol and glycosphingolipids in membrane domains known as lipid rafts. This detergent insolubility can be used to provide evidence for the presence of a GPI anchor on a protein and to isolate lipid rafts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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