Signal peptide for protein secretion directing glycophospholipid membrane anchor attachment

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4895, pp. 1196-1198
DOI: 10.1126/science.2466338


Decay accelerating factor (DAF) is anchored to the plasma membrane by a glycophospholipid (GPI) membrane anchor covalently attached to the COOH-terminus of the protein. A hydrophobic domain located at the COOH-terminus is required for anchor attachment; DAF molecules lacking this domain are secreted. Replacement of the COOH-terminal hydrophobic domain with a signal peptide that normally functions in membrane translocation, or with a random hydrophobic sequence, results in efficient and correct processing, producing GPI-anchored DAF on the cell surface. The structural requirements for GPI anchor attachment and for membrane translocation are therefore similar, presumably depending on overall hydrophobicity rather than specific sequences.