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Biochemistry. 2007 Dec 18;46(50):14500-13. Epub 2007 Nov 22.

Identification of N-acylphosphatidylserine molecules in eukaryotic cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3711, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


While profiling the lipidome of the mouse brain by mass spectrometry, we discovered a novel family of N-acylphosphatidylserine (N-acyl-PS) molecules. These N-acyl-PS species were enriched by DEAE-cellulose column chromatography, and they were then characterized by accurate mass measurements, tandem mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, and comparison to an authentic standard. Mouse brain N-acyl-PS molecules are heterogeneous and constitute about 0.1% of the total lipid. In addition to various ester-linked fatty acyl chains on their glycerol backbones, the complexity of the N-acyl-PS series is further increased by the presence of diverse amide-linked N-acyl chains, which include saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated species. N-Acyl-PS molecular species were also detected in the lipids of pig brain, mouse RAW264.7 macrophage tumor cells, and yeast, but not Escherichia coli. N-Acyl-PSs may be biosynthetic precursors of N-acylserine molecules, such as the recently reported signaling lipid N-arachidonoylserine from bovine brain. We suggest that a phospholipase D might cleave N-acyl-PS to generate N-acylserine, in analogy to the biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anadamide) from N-arachidonoylphosphatidylethanolamine.

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