Detection of glycophospholipid anchors on proteins.

T. L. Doering, P. T. Englund, G. W. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Many eukaryotic proteins are tethered to the plasma membrane by glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchors. This unit provides a general approach for detecting GPI-anchored proteins. First, the detergent-partitioning behavior of a protein of interest is examined for characteristics of GPI-linked species. The partitioning of total cellular and isolated proteins with Triton X-114 is described in this unit, and precondensation of Triton X-114, which is necessary to remove hydrophilic contaminants before partitioning, is outlined in a Support Protocol 1. The protein may also be subjected to specific enzymatic or chemical cleavages to release it from its GPI anchor. Phospholipase cleavage (starting with intact cells or membranes, or with isolated protein) is detailed, and chemical cleavage with nitrous acid is also described. If GPI-anchored proteins are radiolabeled with fatty acids, it facilitates the detection of the GPI protein products following the cleavage reactions. A protocol for separation of lipid moieties released from proteins is provided and base hydrolysis of proteins is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)Unit 12.5
JournalCurrent protocols in protein science / editorial board, John E. Coligan ... [et al.]
VolumeChapter 12
StatePublished - May 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry


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