Cells synthesize the GPI anchor carbohydrate core by successively adding N-acetylglucosamine, three mannoses, and phosphoethanolamine (EtN-P) onto phosphatidylinositol, thus forming the complete GPI precursor lipid which is then added to proteins. Previously, we isolated a GPI deficient yeast mutant accumulating a GPI intermediate containing only two mannoses, suggesting that it has difficulty in adding the third, alpha1,2-linked Man of GPI anchors. The mutant thus displays a similar phenotype as the mammalian mutant cell line S1A-b having a mutation in the PIG-B gene. The yeast mutant, herein named gpi10-1 , contains a mutation in YGL142C, a yeast homolog of the human PIG-B. YGL142C predicts a highly hydrophobic integral membrane protein which by sequence is related to ALG9, a yeast gene required for adding Man in alpha1,2 linkage to N-glycans. Whereas gpi10-1 cells grow at a normal rate and make normal amounts of GPI proteins, the microsomes of gpi10-1 are completely unable to add the third Man in an in vitro assay. Further analysis of the GPI intermediate accumulating in gpi10 shows it to have the structure Manalpha1-6(EtN-P-)Manalpha1-4GlcNalpha1-6(acyl) Inositol-P-lipid. The presence of EtN-P on the alpha1,4-linked Man of GPI anchors is typical of mammalian and a few other organisms but had not been observed in yeast GPI proteins. This additional EtN-P is not only found in the abnormal GPI intermediate of gpi10-1 but is equally present on the complete GPI precursor lipid of wild type cells. Thus, GPI biosynthesis in yeast and mammals proceeds similarly and differs from the pathway described for Trypanosoma brucei in several aspects.