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J Biol Chem. 1992 Dec 15;267(35):25347-51.

Affected paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria T lymphocytes harbor a common defect in assembly of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine inositol phospholipid corresponding to that in class A Thy-1- murine lymphoma mutants.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.


Deficient expression of glycoinositol phospholipid (GPI) anchored proteins in affected paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) cells has been traced to a defect in GPI anchor assembly. In a previous study (Schubert, J., Schmidt, R. E., and Medof, M. E. (1993) J. Biol. Chem., in press) we characterized the biosynthesis of putative Man-containing GPI anchor precursors in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes and investigated assembly of these intracellular GPI intermediates in CD48- affected and CD48+ unaffected T and natural killer cell lines of PNH patients. We found that affected T cells from five patients exhibited a uniform defect in which dolichol-phosphoryl-Man was synthesized but no GPI mannolipids were expressed. In this study, membranes of patients' affected T cells were labeled with UDP-[3H]GlcNAc to evaluate earlier steps in GPI synthesis, and intact cells were fused to Thy-1- murine lymphoma mutants harboring different defects in early GPI assembly to test for the presence of corresponding or complementary lesions. In all cases, affected cell membranes failed to assemble GlcNAc-inositol phospholipid, the initial precursor of GPI anchor structures, and the intact cells failed to complement class A mutants while complementing other classes. Affected polymorphonuclear leukocytes from three additional patients of different origin were then labeled with [3H]Man and the labeling patterns found to correspond to those obtained with the T lymphocytes. Taken together the data indicate that the genetic lesion in PNH cells resides in a DNA element which: 1) encodes a product required for the synthesis of GlcNAc-inositol phospholipid, 2) corresponds to that altered in class A Thy-1- murine lymphoma mutants, and 3) is commonly affected in different patients.

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