The structure of the glycan moiety of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor from Torpedo californica (electric fish) electric-organ acetylcholinesterase was solved using n.m.r., methylation analysis and chemical and enzymic micro-sequencing. Two structures were found to be present: Glc alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6Man alpha 1-4GlcN alpha 1-6myo-inositol and Glc alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-2Man alpha 1-6(GalNAc beta 1-4)Man alpha 1-4GlcN alpha 1-6myo-inositol. The presence of glucose in this GPI anchor structure is a novel feature. The anchor was also shown to contain 2.3 residues of ethanolamine per molecule.

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