Multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry is a powerful tool to study glycerolipid composition in plants with different level of desaturase activity.
ABSTRACT: In plants, two lipid desaturation pathways exist. A so-called prokaryotic pathway is active in plastids and responsible for unsaturation of 16 carbon fatty acids. An eukaryotic one, in the endoplasmic reticulum, acts on 18 carbon fatty acids. Desaturase activities are affected in stressed plants, and conversely, they have an impact on the capability of plants to adapt to stress. So knowing lipid unsaturation is important for physiological studies. Analysis of lipids by mass spectrometry, in the multiple reaction mode, gives access to the molecular species present in each membrane lipid class. We illustrate the powerfulness of this technique by applying it to phospholipids and galactolipids extracted from plants where the desaturation pathways are present at variable level.
Project description:In plants, polyenoic fatty acids are synthesized by desaturase enzymes which use acyl groups of membrane lipids as substrates. To provide direct 'in vitro' evidence for this reaction, we solubilized envelope membranes from spinach (Spinacia oleracea) chloroplasts with Triton X-100 to release a membrane-bound n-6 desaturase. In the presence of oxygen and reduced ferredoxin, the solubilized enzyme desaturated a variety of substrates, such as free oleic acid, free erucic acid, 1-oleoyl-sn-glycerol 3-phosphate and the three galactolipids 1-oleoyl-2-(7'-cis-hexadecenoyl)-3-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-sn-glycerol, 1,2-dioleoyl-3-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-sn-glycerol and the ether analogue 1,2-di-(9'-cis-octadecenyl)-3-beta-D-galactopyranosyl-sn- glycerol. The in vitro desaturation of these exogenously added complex lipids with ester- and ether-linked substrate chains is unambiguous evidence for lipid-linked desaturation. The enzyme measures the insertion of the new double bond from the methyl end and the existing (n-9)-cis-double bond of an appropriate acyl or alkyl chain. The distal part of the substrate group, normally the carboxy end of a fatty acyl residue, is of less importance and, in particular, its activation in thioester form is not required.
Project description:The degree of fatty acid unsaturation, that is, the ratio of unsaturated versus saturated fatty acyl chains, determines membrane fluidity. Regulation of expression of the fatty acid desaturase Ole1p was hitherto the only known mechanism governing the degree of fatty acid unsaturation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We report a novel mechanism for the regulation of fatty acid desaturation that is based on competition between Ole1p and the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase Sct1p/Gat2p for the common substrate C16:0-CoA. Deletion of SCT1 decreases the content of saturated fatty acids, whereas overexpression of SCT1 dramatically decreases the desaturation of fatty acids and affects phospholipid composition. Whereas overexpression of Ole1p increases desaturation, co-overexpression of Ole1p and Sct1p results in a fatty acid composition intermediate between those obtained upon overexpression of the enzymes separately. On the basis of these results, we propose that Sct1p sequesters C16:0-CoA into lipids, thereby shielding it from desaturation by Ole1p. Ta-king advantage of the growth defect conferred by overexpressing SCT1, we identified the acyltransferase Cst26p/Psi1p as a regulator of Sct1p activity by affecting the phosphorylation state and overexpression level of Sct1p. The level of Sct1p phosphorylation is increased when cells are supplemented with saturated fatty acids, demonstrating the physiological relevance of our findings.
Project description:Membrane fatty acyl desaturases (mFAD) are ubiquitous enzymes in eukaryotes. They introduce double bonds into fatty acids (FAs), producing structurally diverse unsaturated FAs which serve as membrane lipid components or precursors of signaling molecules. The mechanisms controlling enzymatic specificity and selectivity of desaturation are, however, poorly understood. We found that the physicochemical properties, particularly side chain volume, of a single amino acid (aa) residue in insect mFADs (Lepidoptera: Bombyx mori and Manduca sexta) control the desaturation products. Molecular dynamics simulations of systems comprising wild-type or mutant mFADs with fatty acyl-CoA substrates revealed that the single aa substitution likely directs the outcome of the desaturation reaction by modulating the distance between substrate fatty acyl carbon atoms and active center metal ions. These findings, as well as our methodology combining mFAD mutational screening with molecular dynamics simulations, will facilitate prediction of desaturation products and facilitate engineering of mFADs for biotechnological applications.
Project description:Alkenones are unusual long-chain neutral lipids that were first identified in oceanic sediments. Currently they are regarded as reliable palaeothermometers, since their unsaturation status changes depending on temperature. These molecules are synthesised by specific haptophyte algae and are stored in the lipid body as the main energy storage molecules. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the alkenone biosynthetic pathway, especially the low temperature-dependent desaturation reaction, have not been elucidated. Here, using an alkenone-producing haptophyte alga, Tisochrysis lutea, we show that the alkenone desaturation reaction is catalysed by a newly identified desaturase. We first isolated two candidate desaturase genes and found that one of these genes was drastically upregulated in response to cold stress. Gas chromatographic analysis revealed that the overexpression of this gene, named as Akd1 finally, increased the conversion of di-unsaturated C37-alkenone to tri-unsaturated molecule by alkenone desaturation, even at a high temperature when endogenous desaturation is efficiently suppressed. We anticipate that the Akd1 gene will be of great help for elucidating more detailed mechanisms of temperature response of alkenone desaturation, and identification of active species contributing alkenone production in metagenomic and/or metatranscriptomic studies in the field of oceanic biogeochemistry.
Project description:Wrinkled1 (WRI1) belongs to the APETALA2 transcription factor family; it is unique to plants and is a central regulator of oil synthesis in Arabidopsis. The effects of WRI1 on comprehensive lipid metabolism and plant development were unknown, especially in crop plants. This study found that BnWRI1 in Brassica napus accelerated flowering and enhanced oil accumulation in both seeds and leaves without leading to a visible growth inhibition. BnWRI1 decreased storage carbohydrates and increased soluble sugars to facilitate the carbon flux to lipid anabolism. BnWRI1 is localized to the nucleus and directly binds to the AW-box at proximal upstream regions of genes involved in fatty acid (FA) synthesis and lipid assembly. The overexpression (OE) of BnWRI1 resulted in the up-regulation of genes involved in glycolysis, FA synthesis, lipid assembly, and flowering. Lipid profiling revealed increased galactolipids monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), and phosphatidylcholine (PC) in the leaves of OE plants, whereas it exhibited a reduced level of the galactolipids DGDG and MGDG and increased levels of PC, phosphatidylethanolamide, and oil [triacylglycerol (TAG)] in the siliques of OE plants during the early seed development stage. These results suggest that BnWRI1 is important for homeostasis among TAG, membrane lipids and sugars, and thus facilitates flowering and oil accumulation in B. napus.
Project description:The ?9-fatty acid desaturase introduces a double bond at the ?9 position of the acyl moiety of acyl-CoA and regulates the cellular levels of unsaturated fatty acids. However, it is unclear how ?9-desaturase expression is regulated in response to changes in the levels of fatty acid desaturation. In this study, we found that the degradation of DESAT1, the sole ?9-desaturase in the Drosophila cell line S2, was significantly enhanced when the amounts of unsaturated acyl chains of membrane phospholipids were increased by supplementation with unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acids. In contrast, inhibition of DESAT1 activity remarkably suppressed its degradation. Of note, removal of the DESAT1 N-terminal domain abolished the responsiveness of DESAT1 degradation to the level of fatty acid unsaturation. Further truncation and amino acid replacement analyses revealed that two sequential prolines, the second and third residues of DESAT1, were responsible for the unsaturated fatty acid-dependent degradation. Although degradation of mouse stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) was unaffected by changes in fatty acid unsaturation, introduction of the N-terminal sequential proline residues into SCD1 conferred responsiveness to unsaturated fatty acid-dependent degradation. Furthermore, we also found that the Ca2+-dependent cysteine protease calpain is involved in the sequential proline-dependent degradation of DESAT1. In light of these findings, we designated the sequential prolines at the second and third positions of DESAT1 as a "di-proline motif," which plays a crucial role in the regulation of ?9-desaturase expression in response to changes in the level of cellular unsaturated fatty acids.
Project description:The effects of the substituted pyridazinone herbicide. San 9785, on the biosynthesis of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) molecular species and on the diacylglycerol precursors were studied. Kinetic experiments with [14C]glucose-infiltrated Vicia faba leaf tissue showed that San 9785 inhibited desaturation of MGDG linoleic acid (C18:2) to form linolenic acid (C18:3) and increased the degree of unsaturation of the diacylglycerol molecular species used in MGDG biosynthesis. These results confirmed that the diacylglycerol precursor of MGDG contains highly unsaturated fatty acids, particularly C18:2 and C18:3. The results also indicated that the MGDG 3/3 molecular species (a molecular species of MGDG containing two C18:3 molecules) is derived from MGDG 2/3 (i.e. containing one C18:2 and one C18:3 fatty acid moiety) and, likely, MGDG 2/2 (i.e. containing two C18:2 fatty acid moieties), via sequential fatty acid desaturation in situ. A model for MGDG 3/3 biosynthesis in 'C18:3-plants', incorporating several sites for fatty acid desaturation (in the phospholipid and diacylglycerol precursors, which are not inhibited by San 9785, and in MGDG, which is inhibited by San 9785) is discussed.
Project description:In response to elevated temperatures, plants alter the activities of enzymes that affect lipid composition. While it has long been known that plant leaf membrane lipids become less unsaturated in response to heat, other changes, including polygalactosylation of galactolipids, head group acylation of galactolipids, increases in phosphatidic acid and triacylglycerols, and formation of sterol glucosides and acyl sterol glucosides, have been observed more recently. In this work, by measuring lipid levels with mass spectrometry, we confirm the previously observed changes in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf lipids under three heat stress regimens. Additionally, in response to heat, increased oxidation of the fatty acyl chains of leaf galactolipids, sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols, and phosphatidylglycerols, and incorporation of oxidized acyl chains into acylated monogalactosyldiacylglycerols are shown. We also observed increased levels of digalactosylmonoacylglycerols and monogalactosylmonoacylglycerols. The hypothesis that a defect in sterol glycosylation would adversely affect regrowth of plants after a severe heat stress regimen was tested, but differences between wild-type and sterol glycosylation-defective plants were not detected.
Project description:Molecular gene transfer techniques have been used to engineer the fatty acid composition of Brassica rapa and Brassica napus (canola) oil. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (stearoyl-ACP) desaturase (EC 188.8.131.52) catalyzes the first desaturation step in seed oil biosynthesis, converting stearoyl-ACP to oleoyl-ACP. Seed-specific antisense gene constructs of B. rapa stearoyl-ACP desaturase were used to reduce the protein concentration and enzyme activity of stearoyl-ACP desaturase in developing rapeseed embryos during storage lipid biosynthesis. The resulting transgenic plants showed dramatically increased stearate levels in the seeds. A continuous distribution of stearate levels from 2% to 40% was observed in seeds of a transgenic B. napus plant, illustrating the potential to engineer specialized seed oil compositions.
Project description:SUMMARY Research background In this study the content and composition of lipids in ergosterol-reduced Sheffersomyces stipitis M12 strain grown on glycerol as a carbon source is determined. Blocking the ergosterol synthesis route in yeast cells is a recently proposed method for increasing S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) production. Experimental approach The batch cultivation of M12 yeast was carried out under aerobic conditions in a laboratory bioreactor with glycerol as carbon source, and with pulsed addition of methionine. Glycerol and SAM content were monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography, while fatty acid composition of different lipid classes, separated by solid phase extraction, was determined by gas chromatography. Results and conclusion Despite the reduced amount of ergosterol in yeast cells, thanks to the reorganized lipid metabolism, M12 strain achieved high biomass yield and SAM production. Neutral lipids prevailed (making more than 75% of total lipids), but their content and composition differed significantly in the two tested types of yeast. Unsaturated and C18 fatty acids prevailed in both the M12 strain and wild type. In all fractions except free fatty acids, the index of unsaturation in M12 strain was lower than in the wild strain. Our tested strain adjusts itself by changing the content of lipids (mainly phospholipids, sterols and sterol esters), and with desaturation adjustments, to maintain proper functioning and fulfil increased energy needs. Novelty and scientific contribution Reorganization of S. stipitis lipid composition caused by blocking the metabolic pathway of ergosterol synthesis was presented. A simple scheme of actual lipid metabolism during active SAM production in S. stipitis, grown on glycerol was constructed and shown. This fundamental knowledge of lipid metabolic pathways will be a helpful tool in improving S. stipitis as an expression host and a model organism, opening new perspectives for its applied research.