Cell-surface anchoring of proteins via glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol structures

Annu Rev Biochem. 1988;57:285-320. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bi.57.070188.001441.


A class of membrane molecules has been identified whose primary translation product includes a COOH-terminal protein sequence that signals attachment of a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor at a COOH-terminal residue that is newly formed by cleavage of the signaling sequence. This class includes a wide diversity of protein types from eukaryotes at many stages of evolution. The structures of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchors are being resolved, but their functions aside from membrane attachment and dynamics remain to be determined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / physiology*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositols