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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structural characterization of free glycolipids which are potential precursors for glycophosphatidylinositol anchors in mouse thymoma cell lines.

Biosynthesis of glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane glycoproteins proceeds through the attachment of a preformed glycolipid onto a C-terminal amino acid rapidly after translation. Here we describe the structural analysis of two very polar glycolipids which can be observed after metabolic labeling of lymphoma cell lines S1A and EL-4 with either tritiated myo-inositol, mannose, or ethanolamine. These lipids are not made by mutant cells deficient in the biosynthesis of glycophosphatidylinositol anchors. The lipids were isolated, and their carbohydrate moiety was characterized using hydrofluoric acid dephosphorylation, nitrous acid deamination, acetolysis, exoglycosidase treatments, and combinations thereof to produce labeled fragments which could be analyzed by paper chromatography. Results are compatible with the structure (X-->)Man alpha 1,2 Man alpha 1,6(Y-->)Man alpha-GlcN-acylinositol, X and Y being hydrofluoric acid-sensitive substituents (most likely phosphoethanolamine). The anchor oligosaccharide of the glycophosphatidylinositol protein anchors of S1A cells was isolated, similarly characterized, and found to contain the identical carbohydrate structure. Pulse-chase experiments indicate that the very polar glycolipids have half-lives which are much longer than the one of phosphatidylinositol. The results suggest that these very polar glycolipids represent supernumerary precursor glycolipids which did not get transferred onto proteins or represent processed forms of such precursors.[1]


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