The Essential Smp3 Protein Is Required for Addition of the Side-branching Fourth Mannose during Assembly of Yeast Glycosylphosphatidylinositols

Stephen J. Grimme, Barbara A. Westfall, Jill M. Wiedman, Christopher H. Taron, Peter Orlean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The major glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) transferred to protein in mammals and trypanosomes contain three mannoses. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, the GPI transferred to protein bears a fourth, α1,2-linked Man on the α1,2-Man that receives the phosphoethanolamine (EthN-P) moiety through which GPIs become linked to protein. We report that temperature-sensitive smp3 mutants accumulate a GPI containing three mannoses and that smp3 is epistatic to the gpi11, gpi13, and gaa1 mutations, which normally result in the accumulation of Man4-GPIs, including the presumed substrate for the yeast GPI transamidase. The Smp3 protein, which is encoded by an essential gene, is therefore required for addition of the fourth Man to yeast GPI precursors. The finding that smp3 prevents the formation of the Man4-GPI that accumulates when addition of EthN-P to Man-3 is blocked in a gpi13 mutant suggests that the presence of the fourth Man is important for transfer of EthN-P to Man-3 of yeast GPIs. The Man 3-GPI that accumulates in smp3 is a mixture of two dominant isoforms, one bearing a single EthN-P side branch on Man-1, the other with EthN-P on Man-2, and these isoforms can be placed in separate arms of a branched GPI assembly pathway. Smp3-related proteins are encoded in the genomes of Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Candida albicans, Drosophila melanogaster, and Homo sapiens and form a subgroup of a family of proteins, the other groups of which are defined by the Pig-B(Gpi10) protein, which adds the third GPI mannose, and by the Alg9 and Alg12 proteins, which act in the dolichol pathway for N-glycosylation. Because Man4-containing GPI precursors are normally formed in yeast and Plasmodium falciparum, whereas addition of a fourth Man during assembly of mammalian GPIs is rare and not required for GPI transfer to protein, Smp3p-dependent addition of a fourth Man represents a target for antifungal and antimalarial drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27731-27739
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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