Human semaphorin K1 is glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked and defines a new subfamily of viral-related semaphorins

J Biol Chem. 1998 Aug 28;273(35):22428-34. doi: 10.1074/jbc.273.35.22428.


The semaphorin family contains a large number of secreted and transmembrane proteins, some of which are known to act as repulsive axon guidance cues during development or to be involved in immune function. We report here on the identification of semaphorin K1 (sema K1), the first semaphorin known to be associated with cell surfaces via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage. Sema K1 is highly homologous to a viral semaphorin and can interact with specific immune cells, suggesting that like its viral counterpart, sema K1 could play an important role in regulating immune function. Sema K1 does not bind to neuropilin-1 or neuropilin-2, the two receptors implicated in mediating the repulsive action of several secreted semaphorins, and thus it likely acts through a novel receptor. In contrast to most previously described semaphorins, sema K1 is only weakly expressed during development but is present at high levels in postnatal and adult tissues, particularly brain and spinal cord.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / genetics*
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • Membrane Proteins
  • semaphorin K1

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF071542