glycosylphosphatidylinositol

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glycosylphosphatidylinositol

(glī″kō-sĭl-fŏs′fă-tī-dĭl-ĭn-ŏs′ĭ-tŏl″),

GPI

A lipid in the plasma membrane of cells that anchors proteins on the cell's surface. Some of the proteins held on the cell surface protect cells against attack by serum complement. Mutations that decrease or eliminate GPI are responsible for the destruction of blood cells by the complement system, which characterizes the disease called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.