Structural studies on the glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchor of Trypanosoma cruzi 1G7-antigen: The structure of the glycan core

Maria Lucia S. Guther, Maria Lucia Cardoso de Almeida, Nobuko Yoshida, Michael A. J. Ferguson

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    The 1G7-antigen is expressed by the infective metacyclic trypomastigote stage of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The 1G7-antigen is a 90-kDa glycoprotein, present at about 40,000 copies/cell, which is anchored in the plasma membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor. The glycan of the GPI anchor has been isolated from immunopurified 1G7-antigen and its structure determined using a combination of methylation linkage analysis and exoglycosidase sequencing. The structure of the glycan is Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6Man alpha 1-4GlcNH2. The glucosamine residue is in glycosidic linkage to a phosphatidylinositol moiety. The penultimate nonreducing alpha-Man residue is substituted with phosphate, which is most likely part of an ethanolamine phosphate bridge linking the GPI anchor to the 1G7-antigen polypeptide. The glycan sequence was obtained from 1.1 nmol of glycoprotein isolated from a detergent lysate of whole cells. The procedures reported here represent a high sensitivity protocol for determining GPI glycan structures from small quantities of biological material. The structure of the 1G7-antigen GPI anchor is consistent with the conserved core structure of all GPI anchors analyzed to date and is similar to that of the T. cruzi lipopeptidophosphoglycan. The biosynthesis of GPI anchors and lipopeptidophosphoglycan in T. cruzi is discussed in the light of this structural homology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6820-6828
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 1992

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