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Chemical Biology of Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchors

Authors

  • Dr. Yu-Hsuan Tsai,

    1. Department of Biomolecular Systems, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14424 Potsdam (Germany)
    2. Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Free University of Berlin, Arnimallee 22, 14195 Berlin (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Xinyu Liu,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 219 Parkman Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (USA)
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  • Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomolecular Systems, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14424 Potsdam (Germany)
    2. Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Free University of Berlin, Arnimallee 22, 14195 Berlin (Germany)
    • Department of Biomolecular Systems, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14424 Potsdam (Germany)
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Abstract

Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are complex glycolipids that are covalently linked to the C-terminus of proteins as a posttranslational modification. They anchor the attached protein to the cell membrane and are essential for normal functioning of eukaryotic cells. GPI-anchored proteins are structurally and functionally diverse. Many GPIs have been structurally characterized but comprehension of their biological functions, beyond the simple physical anchoring, remains largely speculative. Work on functional elucidation at a molecular level is still limited. This Review focuses on the roles of GPI unraveled by using synthetic molecules and summarizes the structural diversity of GPIs, as well as their biological and chemical syntheses.

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