Author(s): Lauc G, HefferLauc M
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Abstract Gangliosides and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins have very different biosynthetic origin, but they have one thing in common: they are both comprised of a relatively large hydrophilic moiety tethered to a membrane by a relatively small lipid tail. Both gangliosides and GPI-anchored proteins can be actively shed from the membrane of one cell and taken up by other cells by insertion of their lipid anchors into the cell membrane. The process of shedding and uptake of gangliosides and GPI-anchored proteins has been independently discovered in several disciplines during the last few decades, but these discoveries were largely ignored by people working in other areas of science. By bringing together results from these, sometimes very distant disciplines, in this review, we give an overview of current knowledge about shedding and uptake of gangliosides and GPI-anchored proteins. Tumor cells and some pathogens apparently misuse this process for their own advantage, but its real physiological functions remain to be discovered.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics