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Biochem J. 1982 Dec 15; 208(3): 651–658.
PMCID: PMC1154014

Role of an acidic compartment in synthesis of disaturated phosphatidylcholine by rat granular pneumocytes


A possible role for an acidic subcellular compartment in biosynthesis of lung surfactant phospholipids was evaluated with granular pneumocytes in primary culture. Incubation with chloroquine (100μm) was used to perturb this compartment. With control cells, incorporation of [9,10-3H]palmitic acid into total lipids and into total phosphatidylcholines increased linearly with time up to 4h. Total incorporation into phosphatidylcholine during a 1h incubation was 999+85pmol of [9,10-3H]palmitic acid, 458±18pmol of [1-14C]oleic acid and 252±15pmol of [U-14C]glucose per μg of phosphatidylcholine phosphorus. The cellular content of either disaturated phosphatidylcholine or total phosphatidylcholines did not change during a 2h incubation with chloroquine. In the presence of chloroquine, the specific radioactivity of [3H]palmitic acid in disaturated phosphatidylcholine increased by 40%, and that of disaturated-phosphatidylcholine fatty acids from [U-14C]glucose increased by 125%. Incorporation of [1-14C]oleic acid into phosphatidylcholine was decreased by chloroquine by 79% and 33% in the presence or absence of palmitic acid respectively. Chloroquine stimulated phospholipase activity in intact cells, and in sonicated cells at pH4.0, but not at pH8.5. The observations indicate that chloroquine stimulates synthesis of disaturated phosphatidylcholine in granular pneumocytes from fatty acids, both exogenous and synthesized de novo, which can be due to stimulation of acidic phospholipase. This stimulation of acidic phospholipase A activity by chloroquine appears to be coupled to the synthesis of disaturated phosphatidylcholine, thereby enhancing remodelling of phosphatidylcholine synthesized de novo. Our findings, therefore, implicate the involvement of an acidic subcellular compartment in the remodelling pathway of disaturated phosphatidylcholine synthesis by granular pneumocytes.

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Selected References

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