Structure of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol membrane anchor of the Leishmania major promastigote surface protease.

Pascal Schneider, Michael Ferguson, Malcolm J. McConville, Angela Mehlert, Steve W. Homans, Clement Bordier

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    In common with many other plasma membrane glycoproteins of eukaryotic origin, the promastigote surface protease (PSP) of the protozoan parasite Leishmania contains a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor. The GPI anchor of Leishmania major PSP was purified following proteolysis of the PSP and analyzed by two-dimensional 1H-1H NMR, compositional and methylation linkage analyses, chemical and enzymatic modifications, and amino acid sequencing. From these results, the structure of the GPI-containing peptide was found to be Asp-Gly-Gly-Asn-ethanolamine-PO4-6Mana1-2Mana1-6Mana1-4GlcNa1-6myo-inositol-1-PO4-(1-alkyl-2-acyl-glycerol). The glycan structure is identical to the conserved glycan core regions of the GPI anchor of Trypanosoma brucei variant surface glycoprotein and rat brain Thy-1 antigen, supporting the notion that this portion of GPIs are highly conserved. The phosphatidylinositol moiety of the PSP anchor is unusual, containing a fully saturated, unbranched 1-O-alkyl chain (mainly C24:0) and a mixture of fully saturated unbranched 2-O-acyl chains (C12:0, C14:0, C16:0, and C18:0). This lipid composition differs significantly from those of the GPIs of T. brucei variant surface glycoprotein and mammalian erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase but is similar to that of a family of glycosylated phosphoinositides found uniquely in Leishmania.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16955-16964
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number28
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 1990


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