A naturally secreted protein, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP), has been transiently expressed on the surface of transfected COS cells and stably on transfected murine BW 5147 thymoma cells, by linkage of the entire coding sequence of the cDNA to the last exon of Thy-1. Thy-1 is a glycophospholipid-linked protein. In COS cells the chimaeric protein can be labelled by [3H]ethanolamine, which is a component of glycophospholipid anchors. Ltk- cells cannot anchor proteins by glycan phosphatidylinositol linkage and were found to be unable to express the engineered protein extracellularly on their plasma membranes. Phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C treatment released 90% of the protein from all BW 5147 cells, but very little from the COS-1 cells. It is concluded that the last exon of Thy-1 has conferred the property of glycophospholipid anchorage on the normally secreted protein TIMP.

This content is only available as a PDF.