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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Nov 8;1686(1-2):148-60.

Contribution of different biosynthetic pathways to species selectivity of aminoglycerophospholipids assembled into mitochondrial membranes of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institut für Biochemie, Technische Universität Graz, Petersgasse 12/2, A-8010 Graz, Austria.


In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, three pathways lead to the formation of cellular phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn), namely the mitochondrial conversion of phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) to PtdEtn catalyzed by phosphatidylserine decarboxylase 1 (Psd1p), the equivalent reaction catalyzed by phosphatidylserine decarboxylase 2 (Psd2p) in the Golgi, and the CDP-ethanolamine branch of the so-called Kennedy pathway which is located to the microsomal fraction. To investigate the contributions of these three pathways to the cellular pattern of PtdEtn species (fatty acid composition) we subjected lipids of wild-type and yeast mutant strains with distinct defects in the respective pathways to mass spectrometric analysis. We also analyzed species of PtdSer and phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) of these strains because formation of the three aminoglycerophospholipids is linked through their biosynthetic route. We demonstrate that all three pathways involved in PtdEtn synthesis exhibit a preference for the formation of C34:2 and C32:2 species resulting in a high degree of unsaturation in total cellular PtdEtn. In PtdSer, the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids is much lower than in PtdEtn, suggesting a high species selectivity of PtdSer decarboxylases. Finally, PtdCho is characterized by its higher ratio of C16 to C18 fatty acids compared to PtdSer and PtdEtn. In contrast to biosynthetic steps, import of all three aminoglycerophospholipids into mitochondria of wild-type and mutant cells is not highly specific with respect to species transported. Thus, the species pattern of aminoglycerophospholipids in mitochondria is mainly the result of enzyme specificities, but not of translocation processes involved. Our results support a model that suggests equilibrium transport of aminoglycerophospholipids between mitochondria and microsomes based on membrane contact between the two compartments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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