GPI-Anchored Proteins in Health and Disease

  • David R. Taylor
  • Nigel M. Hooper
Part of the Protein Reviews book series (PRON, volume 13)


Covalently linked to the C-terminus of many proteins, the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor provides a means to anchor the attached protein to the cell membrane. Whilst the GPI anchor of mature proteins may be extensively modified, all GPI anchors possess a common core structure comprising of a phosphoethanolamine linker and a phosphatidylinositol lipid tail, separated by a glycan core. GPI-anchored proteins have been demonstrated to perform diverse physiological functions; however, the GPI anchor itself imparts certain properties on the protein. These include association with detergent-insoluble lipid rafts, targeting to the apical membrane of polarised cells and signal transduction. In addition to their normal functions, GPI-anchored proteins have been shown to play roles in the pathogenesis of disease. In this chapter we discuss the structure of the GPI anchor and its putative physiological functions, as well as discussing its contribution to the diseases paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, prion disease and malaria, as well as bacterial infections.


Lipid Raft Prion Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Protedysis Research Group, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, and Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and TherapeuticsUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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