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J Lipid Res. 2011 Nov;52(11):2012-20. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M016873. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

The salt stress-induced LPA response in Chlamydomonas is produced via PLA₂ hydrolysis of DGK-generated phosphatidic acid.

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Section Plant Physiology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas has frequently been used as a eukaryotic model system to study intracellular phospholipid signaling pathways in response to environmental stresses. Earlier, we found that hypersalinity induced a rapid increase in the putative lipid second messenger, phosphatidic acid (PA), which was suggested to be generated via activation of a phospholipase D (PLD) pathway and the combined action of a phospholipase C/diacylglycerol kinase (PLC/DGK) pathway. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) was also increased and was suggested to reflect a phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂) activity based on pharmacological evidence. The question of PA's and LPA's origin is, however, more complicated, especially as both function as precursors in the biosynthesis of phospho- and galactolipids. To address this complexity, a combination of fatty acid-molecular species analysis and in vivo ³²P-radiolabeling was performed. Evidence is provided that LPA is formed from a distinct pool of PA characterized by a high α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) content. This molecular species was highly enriched in the polyphosphoinositide fraction, which is the substrate for PLC to form diacylglycerol. Together with differential ³²P-radiolabeling studies and earlier PLD-transphosphatidylation and PLA₂-inhibitor assays, the data were consistent with the hypothesis that the salt-induced LPA response is primarily generated through PLA₂-mediated hydrolysis of DGK-generated PA and that PLD or de novo synthesis [via endoplasmic reticulum - or plastid-localized routes] is not a major contributor.

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