Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are attached to the C termini of some glycosylated secretory proteins, serving as membrane anchors for many of those on the cell surface. Biosynthesis of GPIs is initiated by the transfer of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) from UDP-GlcNAc to phosphatidylinositol. This reaction is carried out at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by an enzyme complex called GPI-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (GPI-GlcNAc transferase). The human enzyme has six known subunits, at least four of which, GPI1, PIG-A, PIG-C, and PIG-H, have functional homologs in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The uncharacterized yeast gene YDR437w encodes a protein with some sequence similarity to human PIG-P, a fifth subunit of the GPI-GlcNAc transferase. Here we show that Ydr437w is a small but essential subunit of the yeast GPI-GlcNAc transferase, and we designate its gene GPI19. Similar to other mutants in the yeast enzyme, temperature-sensitive gpi19 mutants display cell wall defects and hyperactive Ras phenotypes. The Gpi19 protein associates with the yeast GPI-GlcNAc transferase in vivo, as judged by coimmuneprecipitation with the Gpi2 subunit. Moreover, conditional gpi19 mutants are defective for GPI-GlcNAc transferase activity in vitro. Finally, we present evidence for the topology of Gpi19 within the ER membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology