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J Biol Chem. 1992 Oct 15;267(29):21250-5.

Inhibition of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor formation by mannosamine.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72205.


Many eucaryotic cell surface proteins are anchored to the plasma membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), of which the core region is highly conserved from protozoa to mammalian cells. Previous studies (Lisanti, M. P., Field, M. C., Caras, I. W., Menon, A. K., and Rodiguez-Boulan, E. (1991) EMBO J. 10, 1969-1977) showed that mannosamine blocked the expression of a recombinant GPI-anchored protein in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and converted this protein to an unpolarized secretory product. In the present study, we examined the effect of mannosamine on the formation of the glycan portion of the GPI anchor precursors. This amino sugar inhibited the incorporation of mannose into the glycan portion, and the inhibition was dose-dependent. Mannosamine was shown to be incorporated into the glycan as mannosamine, probably mostly in the second mannose position and thereby to block the further addition of mannose and other anchor components. The products formed in the presence of this drug were characterized by gel filtration and high resolution TLC both before and after deamination with nitrous acid and dephosphorylation by HF. Galactosamine and trehalosamine were inactive in this system, whereas glucosamine also inhibited mannose incorporation into GPI intermediates.

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