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J Bacteriol. Mar 1985; 161(3): 1086–1092.
PMCID: PMC215011

Alteration of phospholipid composition by combined defects in phosphatidylserine and cardiolipin synthases and physiological consequences in Escherichia coli.

Abstract

Escherichia coli K-12 derivatives with a common genetic background carrying, either alone or in combination, the pss-1 allele coding for a temperature-sensitive phosphatidylserine synthase (A. Ohta and I. Shibuya, J. Bacteriol. 132:434-443, 1977) and cls- for a defective cardiolipin synthase (G. Pluschke et al., J. Biol. Chem. 253:5048-5055, 1978) were constructed. The phospholipid polar headgroup compositions of these strains were significantly different from each other depending on their genotypes and growth temperature, whereas other membrane characteristics such as the total phospholipid content, fatty acid composition, membrane protein profile, and lipopolysaccharide content were practically the same, suggesting that the phenotypes of these strains were the direct consequences of abnormalities in membrane phospholipid composition. The cls pss-1 double mutation caused an unusual accumulation of phosphatidylglycerol with an extremely low content of cardiolipin. The cls mutation alone was found to give a growth defect, and its introduction into a pss-1 mutant resulted in an enhanced temperature sensitivity of growth. Addition to a broth medium of a proper concentration of sucrose, NaCl, Mg2+, or Ca2+ allowed the growth of a pss-1 mutant at otherwise nonpermissive temperature, but a pss-1 cls double mutant required the combined addition of sucrose or NaCl and MgCl2 for full growth at 42 degrees C. The possible mechanisms for these physiological consequences of the mutations are discussed on a molecular basis. The remedial effects of culture supplements allowed the pss-1 mutants to grow at 42 degrees C resulting in enhanced abnormalities of membrane phospholipid composition.

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Selected References

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