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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Nov 11;94(23):12717-21.

Inhibition of phospholipase D by lysophosphatidylethanolamine, a lipid-derived senescence retardant.

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Environmental Stress Physiology, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Phospholipid signaling mediated by lipid-derived second messengers or biologically active lipids is still new and is not well established in plants. We recently have found that lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE), a naturally occurring lipid, retards senescence of leaves, flowers, and postharvest fruits. Phospholipase D (PLD) has been suggested as a key enzyme in mediating the degradation of membrane phospholipids during the early stages of plant senescence. Here we report that LPE inhibited the activity of partially purified cabbage PLD in a cell-free system in a highly specific manner. Inhibition of PLD by LPE was dose-dependent and increased with the length and unsaturation of the LPE acyl chain whereas individual molecular components of LPE such as ethanolamine and free fatty acid had no effect on PLD activity. Enzyme-kinetic analysis suggested noncompetitive inhibition of PLD by LPE. In comparison, the related lysophospholipids such as lysophosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylglycerol, and lysophosphotidylserine had no significant effect on PLD activity whereas PLD was stimulated by lysophosphatidic acid and inhibited by lysophosphatidylinositol. Membrane-associated and soluble PLD, extracted from cabbage and castor bean leaf tissues, also was inhibited by LPE. Consistent with acyl-specific inhibition of PLD by LPE, senescence of cranberry fruits as measured by ethylene production was more effectively inhibited according to the increasing acyl chain length and unsaturation of LPE. There are no known specific inhibitors of PLD in plants and animals. We demonstrate specific inhibitory regulation of PLD by a lysophospholipid.


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