The contact site A glycoprotein of Dictyostelium discoideum carries a phospholipid anchor of a novel type.


The contact site A glycoprotein, a cell adhesion protein of aggregating Dictyostelium cells, was labeled with fatty acid, myo-inositol, phosphate and ethanolamine in vivo, indicating that the protein is anchored in the membrane by a lipid. This lipid was not susceptible to phosphatidyl inositol specific phospholipase C. When cleaved with nitrous acid or when subjected to acetolysis, the anchor released lipids which were different from those released from Trypanosoma variant cell surface glycoprotein, a protein with a known phosphatidyl inositol-glycan anchor. Resistance to weak and sensitivity to strong alkali indicated that the fatty acid in the contact site A glycolipid anchor was in an amide bond. On incubation with sphingomyelinase, a lipid with the chromatographic behavior of ceramide was released. These results suggest that the contact site A glycoprotein is anchored by a ceramide based lipid glycan.

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