2014 Volume 90 Issue 4 Pages 130-143
At least 150 different human proteins are anchored to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane via glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). GPI preassembled in the endoplasmic reticulum is attached to the protein’s carboxyl-terminus as a post-translational modification by GPI transamidase. Twenty-two PIG (for Phosphatidyl Inositol Glycan) genes are involved in the biosynthesis and protein-attachment of GPI. After attachment to proteins, both lipid and glycan moieties of GPI are structurally remodeled in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Four PGAP (for Post GPI Attachment to Proteins) genes are involved in the remodeling of GPI. GPI-anchor deficiencies caused by somatic and germline mutations in the PIG and PGAP genes have been found and characterized. The characteristics of the 26 PIG and PGAP genes and the GPI deficiencies caused by mutations in these genes are reviewed.