The 90-kDa stage-specific 1G7-antigen has been implicated in the invasion of host cells by the metacyclic forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. The antigen is attached to the plasma membrane via glycosylphosphatidylinositol, the partial structure of which was the first to be determined for a protein of this parasite. In this study, the complete structure of the lipid component of the anchor was determined by electrospray mass spectrometry, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, phospholipase sensitivity and high-performance thin-layer chromatography of the diaradylglycerol components after benzoylation. These analyses showed that the lipid moiety of 1G7-antigen is composed essentially of 1-O-hexadecyl-2-O-hexadecanoyl-phosphatidylinositol and 1-O-hexadecyl-2-O-octadecanoyl-phosphatidylinositol. The high sensitivity of the electrospray mass spectrometric analysis unexpectedly revealed the presence of a small proportion of putative inositol-phosphoceramide structures, and confirmed the absence of inositol-acylated species. An interesting finding was that the biosynthetic incorporation of [3H]palmitate labelled solely the acyl position, and not the 1-O-alkyl chain in the 1G7-antigen anchor.