Mannolipid donor specificity of glycosylphosphatidylinositol mannosyltransferase-I (GPIMT-I) determined with an assay system utilizing mutant CHO-K1 cells

Glycobiology. 1994 Dec;4(6):909-15. doi: 10.1093/glycob/4.6.909.


The microsomal enzyme glycosylphosphatidylinositol mannosyltransferase I (GPIMT-I) catalyses the transfer of a mannosyl residue from beta-mannosylphosphoryldolichol (beta-Man-P-Dol) to glucosamine-alpha(1,6)(acyl)phosphatidylinositol (GlcN-aPI) to form Man alpha(1,4)GlcN-aPI (ManGlcN-aPI), an intermediate in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) synthesis. While the transfer of [3H]mannosyl units to endogenous GlcN-aPI was not seen when membrane fractions from normal Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) K1 cells were incubated with exogenous [3H]Man-P-Dol, GPIMT-I activity could be characterized with an in vitro enzyme assay system employing membrane fractions from Lec15 or Lec35 cells. These CHO cell mutants apparently contain elevated levels of endogenous GlcN-aPI due to the inability to synthesize (Lec15) or utilize (Lec35) beta-Man-P-Dol in vivo. The presence of a saturated alpha-isoprene unit in the dolichyl moiety is required for optimal GPIMT-I activity since beta-mannosylphosphorylpolyprenol (beta-Man-P-Poly), which contains a fully unsaturated polyisoprenyl chain, was only 50% as effective as beta-[3H]Man-P-Dol as a mannosyl donor. When beta-[3H]-Man-P-Dol and alpha-[3H]Man-P-Dol were compared as substrates, GPIMT-I exhibited a strict stereospecificity for the mannolipid containing the beta-mannosyl-phosphoryl linkage. beta-[3H]Man-P-dolichols containing 11 or 19 isoprenyl units were equally effective substrates for GPIMT-I. Membrane fractions from Lec 9, a CHO mutant that apparently lacks polyprenol reductase activity and synthesizes very little beta-Man-P-Dol, but accumulates beta-Man-P-Poly, synthesized no detectable Man-GlcN-aPI when incubated with beta-[3H]Man-P-Dol in vitro. This indirect assay suggests that GlcN-aPI does not accumulate in Lec 9 cells, possibly because it is mannosylated via beta-Man-P-Poly, or perhaps the small amount of Man-P-Dol formed by the mutant in vivo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • CHO Cells
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cricetinae
  • Glycolipids / chemistry
  • Glycolipids / metabolism*
  • Mannose / chemistry
  • Mannosyltransferases / analysis
  • Mannosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Microsomes / enzymology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphate Sugars / metabolism
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Glycolipids
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphate Sugars
  • Mannosyltransferases
  • Mannose