PloS one

Genome-Wide Screening of Genes Required for Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Biosynthesis.

PMID 26383639


Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) is synthesized and transferred to proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). GPI-anchored proteins are then transported from the ER to the plasma membrane through the Golgi apparatus. To date, at least 17 steps have been identified to be required for the GPI biosynthetic pathway. Here, we aimed to establish a comprehensive screening method to identify genes involved in GPI biosynthesis using mammalian haploid screens. Human haploid cells were mutagenized by the integration of gene trap vectors into the genome. Mutagenized cells were then treated with a bacterial pore-forming toxin, aerolysin, which binds to GPI-anchored proteins for targeting to the cell membrane. Cells that showed low surface expression of CD59, a GPI-anchored protein, were further enriched for. Gene trap insertion sites in the non-selected population and in the enriched population were determined by deep sequencing. This screening enriched 23 gene regions among the 26 known GPI biosynthetic genes, which when mutated are expected to decrease the surface expression of GPI-anchored proteins. Our results indicate that the forward genetic approach using haploid cells is a useful and powerful technique to identify factors involved in phenotypes of interest.