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J Biol Chem. 1988 Apr 25;263(12):5775-9.

Rapid changes in polyphosphoinositide metabolism associated with the response of Dunaliella salina to hypoosmotic shock.

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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin 78713.


The inositol phospholipids phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PIP), and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) comprise 14.8, 1.2, and 0.3 mol %, respectively, of Dunaliella salina phospholipids. In isolated plasma membrane fractions, PIP and PIP2 are highly concentrated, together comprising 9.5 mol % of plasmalemma phospholipids. The metabolism of these inositol phospholipids and phosphatidic acid (PA) is very rapid under normal growth conditions. Within 5 min after introduction of 32Pi into the growth medium, over 75% of lipid-bound label was found in these quantitatively minor phospholipids. Within 2 min after a sudden hypoosmotic shock, the levels of PIP2 and PIP dropped to 65 and 79%, respectively, of controls. Within the same time frame, PA rose to 141% of control values. These data suggest that a rapid breakdown of the polyphosphoinositides may mediate the profound morphological and physiological changes which allow this organism to survive drastic hypoosmotic stress. In contrast to hypoosmotic shock, hyperosmotic shock induced a rise in PIP2 levels to 131% of control values, whereas the level of PA dropped to 56% of controls after 4 min. These two different types of osmotic stress affect inositol phospholipid metabolism in a fundamentally opposite manner, with only hypoosmotic shock inducing a net decrease in polyphosphoinositides.

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