Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor biosynthesis

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors are glycolipids composed of phosphatidylinositol and the carbohydrate residues, glucosamine and mannose. The carbohydrates are glycosidically attached to the inositol groups. These can be attached to the C-terminal of a protein via post-translational modification. The fatty acid chains within the phosphatidylinositol residues are hydrophobic and therefore anchor proteins to membranes. The carbohydrate moieties, glucosamine and mannose are provided by the substrates UDP-N-acetyl-glucosamine and dolichyl-phosphate D-mannose from the aminosugars metabolism and dolichol metabolism pathways respectively. The synthesis of GPI anchors start at the outside of the ER membrane and the transfer of phosphoethanolamine group takes place inside of ER membrane. The proteins which are transferred to GPI anchor have a signal peptide (cleavage site, spacer and hydrophobic stretch) near the C-terminus. As they have a stretch of hydrophobic amino acids, they are attached to the ER membrane. GPI anchor transamidase cleaves the appropriate peptide bond and transfers GPI anchor to the protein. These GPI-anchored proteins process through the secretory pathway and ends up in the outer side of plasma membrane.


Enzyme EC Number Gene id
Manosyltransferase – PIG V 2.4.1.- TP03_0245
Manosyltransferase – PIG M 2.4.1.- TP04_0525
Dolichyl-phosphate-mannose-glycolipid a-mannosyltransferase Missing in annotation
Phosphatidylinositol N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase TP01_1147
Phosphatidylinositol N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase - PIG-P TP04_0640
Phosphatidylinositol N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase TP04_0759
Phosphatidylinositol N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase TP04_0881
N-acetylglucosaminylphosphatidyl inositol deacetylase TP04_0615
PIG-O none TP01_0170
PIG-W none TP03_0157
GPI-anchor transamidase - PIG-U none TP03_0345
GPI-anchor transamidase none TP03_0397
GPI-anchor transamidase – PIG-K none TP03_0846


Open in a new window



Sources and fates of metabolites


Substrate Source pathways Product Fate pathways
Phosphatidyl-1D-myo-inositol Inositol phosphate metabolism    
UDP-N-acetyl-glucosamine Aminosugars metabolism Acetate Pyruvate metabolism
Palmitoyl-CoA Phosphatidylethanolamine metabolism    
Dolichyl-P-mannose Dolichol metabolism Dolichyl-P Dolichol metabolism
Phosphatidylethanolamine Phosphatidylethanolamine metabolism