Glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchors are present on a large number of eukaryotic plasma membrane proteins. Some of these anchors can be cleaved with bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipases C, and a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C from Trypanosoma brucei, to reveal an epitope called the cross-reacting determinant. Other glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchors are resistant to the action of these enzymes prior to treatment with mild base. A simple method is described for identifying both phospholipase-sensitive and -resistant anchors using anti-cross-reacting determinant antibodies on Western blots. This procedure represents a high-sensitivity general method for the identification of GPI-anchored proteins.