Alternative lipid remodelling pathways for glycosylphosphatidylinositol membrane anchors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

G Sipos, Fulvio Reggiori, C Vionnet, A Conzelmann

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Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane proteins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae exist with two types of lipid moiety--diacylglycerol or ceramide--both of which contain 26:0 fatty acids. To understand at which stage of biosynthesis these long-chain fatty acids become incorporated into diacylglycerol anchors, we compared the phosphatidylinositol moieties isolated from myo-[2-(3)H]inositol-labelled protein anchors and from GPI intermediates. There is no evidence for the presence of long-chain fatty acids in any intermediate of GPI biosynthesis. However, GPI-anchored proteins contain either the phosphatidylinositol moiety characteristic of the precursor lipids or a version with a long-chain fatty acid in the sn-2 position of glycerol. The introduction of long-chain fatty acids into sn-2 occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and is independent of the sn-2-specific acyltransferase SLC1. Analysis of ceramide anchors revealed the presence of two types of ceramide, one added in the ER and another more polar molecule which is found only on proteins which have reached the mid Golgi. In summary, the lipid of GPI-anchored proteins can be exchanged by at least three different remodelling pathways: (i) remodelling from diacylglycerol to ceramide in the ER as proposed previously; (ii) remodelling from diacylglycerol to a more hydrophobic diacylglycerol with a long-chain fatty acid in sn-2 in the ER; and (iii) remodelling to a more polar ceramide in the Golgi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3494-505
Number of pages12
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16-Jun-1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Acyltransferases
  • Dyneins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Protein Precursors
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Subcellular Fractions

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