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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2012 Feb;51:31-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Arabidopsis long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase 1 (LACS1), LACS2, and LACS3 facilitate fatty acid uptake in yeast.

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Department of Biology and Institute of Biochemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada.


The plant cuticle is a lipid-based barrier on the aerial surfaces of plants that plays a variety of protective roles. The cuticle is comprised largely of long-chain and very-long-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. In Arabidopsis, LONG-CHAIN ACYL-COA SYNTHETASE1 (LACS1), LACS2, and LACS3 are known or suspected cuticle biosynthetic genes. Very-long-chain acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) synthetase activity has been demonstrated for LACS1 and LACS2, although the role for such an activity in cuticle biosynthesis is currently unclear. In yeast and mammalian systems, some very-long-chain acyl-CoA synthetases are also called fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs) due to a second function of mediating transmembrane movement of fatty acids. We sought to determine if LACS1-3 also have this dual functionality. A yeast fat1Δ mutant is deficient in both very-long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase activity and exogenous fatty acid uptake. We demonstrate that heterologous expression of LACS1, 2, or 3 is able to complement both of these deficiencies. Furthermore, expression of each LACS enzyme in yeast resulted in uptake of the long-chain fatty acid analogue, C(1)-BODIPY-C(12). Only expression of LACS1 resulted in uptake of the very-long-chain fatty acid analogue, BODIPY-C(16). These results demonstrate that LACS1, LACS2, and LACS3 have the dual functionality of yeast and mammalian FATP enzymes. These findings have implications in the transmembrane transport and intracellular trafficking of plant lipids destined for export to the cuticle.

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