Screening for glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-dependent cell wall proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mol Gen Genet. 1998 Apr;258(1-2):53-9. doi: 10.1007/s004380050706.


Open reading frames in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were screened for potential glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-attached proteins. The identification of putative GPI-attached proteins was based on three criteria: the presence of a GPI-attachment signal sequence, a signal sequence for secretion and a serine- or threonine-rich sequence. In all, 53 ORFs met these three criteria and 38 were further analyzed as follows. The sequence encoding the 40 C-terminal amino acids of each was fused with the structural gene for a reporter protein consisting of a secretion signal, alpha-galactosidase and a hemagglutinin (HA) epitope, and examined for the ability to become incorporated into the cell wall. On this basis, 14 of fusion proteins were classified as GPI-dependent cell wall proteins because cells expressing these fusion proteins: (i) had high levels of alpha-galactosidase activity on their surface; (ii) released significant amounts of the fusion proteins from the membrane on treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC); and (iii) released fusion proteins from the cell wall following treatment with laminarinase. Of the 14 identified putative GPI-dependent cell wall proteins, 12 had novel ORFs adjacent to their GPI-attachment signal sequence. Amino acid sequence alignment of the C-terminal sequences of the 12 ORFs, together with those of known cell wall proteins, reveals some sequence similarities among them.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*


  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols