Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1, 1993; 90(19): 9090–9094.

The primary signal in the biological perception of temperature: Pd-catalyzed hydrogenation of membrane lipids stimulated the expression of the desA gene in Synechocystis PCC6803.


One of the well-characterized phenomena associated with the acclimation of organisms to changes in ambient temperature is the regulation of the molecular motion or "fluidity" of membrane lipids via changes in the extent of unsaturation of the fatty acids of membrane lipids. The enzymes responsible for this process when the temperature is decreased are the desaturases, the activities of which are enhanced at low temperature. To examine whether the change in the fluidity of membrane lipids is the first event that signals a change in temperature, we studied the effect of the Pd-catalyzed hydrogenation of membrane lipids on the expression of the desA gene, which is responsible for the desaturation of fatty acids of membrane lipids in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803. The Pd-catalyzed hydrogenation of plasma membrane lipids stimulated the expression of the desA gene. We also found that, for unexplained reasons, the hydrogenation was much more specific to a minor phospholipid, phosphatidylglycerol, than to members of other lipid classes. These results suggest that the organism perceives a decrease in the fluidity of plasma membrane lipids when it is exposed to a decrease in temperature.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Murata N. Low-temperature effects on cyanobacterial membranes. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1989 Feb;21(1):61–75. [PubMed]
  • Wada H, Gombos Z, Murata N. Enhancement of chilling tolerance of a cyanobacterium by genetic manipulation of fatty acid desaturation. Nature. 1990 Sep 13;347(6289):200–203. [PubMed]
  • Los D, Horvath I, Vigh L, Murata N. The temperature-dependent expression of the desaturase gene desA in Synechocystis PCC6803. FEBS Lett. 1993 Feb 22;318(1):57–60. [PubMed]
  • Vigh L, Horváth I, Thompson GA., Jr Recovery of Dunaliella salina cells following hydrogenation of lipids in specific membranes by a homogeneous palladium catalyst. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1988 Jan 13;937(1):42–50. [PubMed]
  • Joó F, Balogh N, Horváth LI, Filep G, Horváth I, Vígh L. Complex hydrogenation/oxidation reactions of the water-soluble hydrogenation catalyst palladium di (sodium alizarinmonosulfonate) and details of homogeneous hydrogenation of lipids in isolated biomembranes and living cells. Anal Biochem. 1991 Apr;194(1):34–40. [PubMed]
  • Stanier RY, Kunisawa R, Mandel M, Cohen-Bazire G. Purification and properties of unicellular blue-green algae (order Chroococcales). Bacteriol Rev. 1971 Jun;35(2):171–205. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ono TA, Murata N. Chilling Susceptibility of the Blue-green Alga Anacystis nidulans: I. EFFECT OF GROWTH TEMPERATURE. Plant Physiol. 1981 Jan;67(1):176–181. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • BLIGH EG, DYER WJ. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Physiol. 1959 Aug;37(8):911–917. [PubMed]
  • Arnon DI, McSwain BD, Tsujimoto HY, Wada K. Photochemical activity and components of membrane preparations from blue-green algae. I. Coexistence of two photosystems in relation to chlorophyll a and removal of phycocyanin. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1974 Aug 23;357(2):231–245. [PubMed]
  • Golden SS, Brusslan J, Haselkorn R. Genetic engineering of the cyanobacterial chromosome. Methods Enzymol. 1987;153:215–231. [PubMed]
  • Quinn PJ, Joo F, Vigh L. The role of unsaturated lipids in membrane structure and stability. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 1989;53(2):71–103. [PubMed]
  • Bossie MA, Martin CE. Nutritional regulation of yeast delta-9 fatty acid desaturase activity. J Bacteriol. 1989 Dec;171(12):6409–6413. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McDonough VM, Stukey JE, Martin CE. Specificity of unsaturated fatty acid-regulated expression of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae OLE1 gene. J Biol Chem. 1992 Mar 25;267(9):5931–5936. [PubMed]
  • Wada H, Murata N. Temperature-Induced Changes in the Fatty Acid Composition of the Cyanobacterium, Synechocystis PCC6803. Plant Physiol. 1990 Apr;92(4):1062–1069. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...