The glycosylphosphatidylinositol transamidase complex (GPIT) consists of five subunits: PIG-U, PIG-T, GPAA1, PIG-S and GPI8, and is important in attaching GPI anchors to target proteins. On the basis of our previous reports incriminating PIG-U as an oncogene in bladder cancer and PIG-T and GPAA1 as oncogenes in breast cancer, we evaluated the expression pattern of the GPIT subunits in 19 different human cancers at both mRNA and protein levels. In general, our results demonstrate a more frequent expression of GPIT subunits in cancers than in normal. Among the 19 anatomic sites compared; breast, ovary and uterus showed consistent evidence of overexpression of specific GPIT subunits. There was also overexpression of PIG-U and GPI8 in lymphoma. In addition, non-small cell lung carcinoma showed significant overexpression of the GPIT subunits as compared to small cell lung carcinoma and normal lung tissue. Also, deregulation of specific GPIT subunits was seen in various other cancers. Forced overexpression of two GPIT subunits; PIG-S and GPI8 alone or in combination induced increased proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells. Collectively, our study defines a trend involving the deregulated expression and the functional contribution of the GPIT subunits in various cancers with potential implications in diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic intervention. © 2008 USCAP, Inc All rights reserved.