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Glycosyl-sn-1,2-dimyristylphosphatidylinositol is the membrane anchor for Trypanosoma equiperdum and T. (Nannomonas) congolense variant surface glycoproteins.

Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology

Animals, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Glycolipids, analysis, Glycoproteins, Glycosylphosphatidylinositols, Myristic Acid, Myristic Acids, metabolism, Nitrous Acid, Phosphatidylinositols, Phospholipases, Trypanosoma, Trypanosoma brucei brucei, Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma, Trypanosoma congolense

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      We have analysed the structures of the Trypanosoma (Nannomonas) congolense and T. equiperdum variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) membrane anchors. Myristic acid uptake, phospholipase treatment, and nitrous acid deamination showed that, for each species, the anchor is glycosyl-sn-1,2-dimyristylphosphatidylinositol, as has been previously described for T. brucei. Osmotic lysis of these trypanosomes resulted in the release of soluble VSG, lacking fatty acid. In both species and in T. evansi, an endogenous phospholipase C, which cleaved diacylglycerol from membrane form VSG, was identified.

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