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Biochem J. Jan 1, 1994; 297(Pt 1): 201–208.
PMCID: PMC1137811

Cardiolipin biosynthesis in the isolated heart.


The pathway for the biosynthesis of new cardiolipin was investigated in the isolated perfused intact rat heart. Isolated rat hearts were perfused in the Langendorff mode for up to 60 min with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing 0.1 microM [U-14C]glycerol. Analysis of radioactivity incorporated into phospholipids in the organic phase revealed an increase in radioactivity incorporated into phosphatidylglycerol, cardiolipin and other phospholipids with time of perfusion. This was associated with a loss of radioactivity from phosphatidic acid. In contrast, perfusion of hearts for up to 60 min with 0.1 mM [1,(3)-3H]glycerol in the perfusate revealed an increased radioactivity associated with phosphatidic acid as well as cardiolipin, phosphatidylglycerol and other phospholipids. Perfusion of hearts for up to 60 min with [32P]Pi in the perfusate revealed a time-dependent increase in radioactivity associated with all phospholipids. Perfusion of hearts for up to 60 min with 0.1 microM or 0.1 mM glycerol in the perfusate did not affect the concentration of phosphatidic acid, cardiolipin or phosphatidylglycerol. To determine the rate-limiting step of cardiolipin biosynthesis, hearts were pulsed for 5 min with 0.1 microM [1,(3)-3H]glycerol and chased for up to 60 min with 0.1 microM glycerol in the perfusate. Radioactivity was maximum at the start of the chase in phosphatidic acid (and 1,2-diacylglycerol), and was subsequently chased into phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylglycerol and cardiolipin (and other phospholipids). Significant radioactivity in phosphatidylglycerol phosphate was not detected. Radioactivity in CDP-sn-1,2-diacylglycerol remained constant throughout the chase. The activities of the enzymes of the Kennedy pathway for cardiolipin biosynthesis in the heart were determined. On the basis of continuous-pulse and pulse-chase labelling studies it is postulated that the cardiac polyglycerophospholipids phosphatidylglycerol and cardiolipin are actively synthesized from newly synthesized phosphatidic acid via the Kennedy pathway. In addition, the results suggest that the rate-limiting step of cardiolipin biosynthesis in the intact heart is probably the conversion of phosphatidic acid into CDP-sn-1,2-diacylglycerol.

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Selected References

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