Substrate specificity of the N-acetylglucosaminyl-phosphatidylinositol de-N-acetylase of glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchor biosynthesis in African trypanosomes and human cells

Deepak K. Sharma, Terry K. Smith, Arthur Crossman, John S. Brimacombe, Michael A. J. Ferguson

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    De-N-acetylation of N-acetylglucosaminyl-phosphatidylinositol (GlcNAc-PI) is the second step of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor biosynthesis in eukaryotes. This step is a prerequisite for the subsequent mannosylation of glucosaminyl-phosphatidylinositol (GlcN-PI) which leads to mature GPI membrane anchor precursors, which are transferred to certain proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. The substrate specificities of the GlcNAc-PI de-N-acetylase activities of African trypanosomes and human (HeLa) cells were studied with respect to the N-acyl groups (R) that could be removed from a series of GlcNR-PI substrates, where R = acetyl (Ac), propionyl (Pr), butyryl(Bu), isobutyryl (iBu), pentanoyl (Pen) or hexanoyl (Hex). The data show that the trypanosomal and HeLa enzymes had similar specificities and that the turnover of GlcNR-PIs by the trypanosomal enzyme was in the order GlcNAc-PI > GlcNPr-PI much greater than GlcNBu-PI approximate to GlcNiBu-PI approximate to GlcNPen-PI much greater than GlcNHex-PI. The trypanosome and HeLa de-N-acetylases were unable to de-N-acetylate mannosylated GlcNAc-PI intermediates, which explains why de-N-acetylation must precede mannosylation in the GPI biosynthetic pathway.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-177
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1997

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