Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are glycolipids that anchor many proteins (GPI-APs) on the cell surface. The core glycan of GPI precursor has three mannoses, which in mammals, are all modified by ethanolamine-phosphate (EthN-P). It is postulated that EthN-P on the third mannose (EthN-P-Man3) is the bridge between GPI and the protein and the second (EthN-P-Man2) is removed after GPI-protein attachment. However, EthN-P-Man2 may not be always transient, as mutations of PIGG, the enzyme that transfers EthN-P to Man2, result in inherited GPI deficiencies (IGDs), characterized by neuronal dysfunctions. Here, we show that EthN-P on Man2 is the preferential bridge in some GPI-APs, among them, the Ect-5'-nucleotidase and Netrin G2. We find that CD59, a GPI-AP, is attached via EthN-P-Man2 both in PIGB-knockout cells, in which GPI lacks Man3, and with a small fraction in wild-type cells. Our findings modify the current view of GPI anchoring and provide a mechanistic basis for IGDs caused by PIGG mutations.
Keywords: CD73; PIGB; PIGG; inherited GPI deficiency; mass spectrometry.
© 2022 The Authors.