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Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2016 Oct;18(5):564-574. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Characterization of Stearoyl-CoA Desaturases from a Psychrophilic Antarctic Copepod, Tigriopus kingsejongensis.

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Division of Polar Life Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, KIOST, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea.
Department of Polar Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea.
Division of Polar Life Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, KIOST, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea.


Stearoyl-CoA desaturase is a key regulator in fatty acid metabolism that catalyzes the desaturation of stearic acid to oleic acid and controls the intracellular levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Two stearoyl-CoA desaturases (SCD, Δ9 desaturases) genes were identified in an Antarctic copepod, Tigriopus kingsejongensis, that was collected in a tidal pool near the King Sejong Station, King George Island, Antarctica. Full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) sequences of two T. kingsejongensis SCDs (TkSCDs) were obtained from next-generation sequencing and isolated by reverse transcription PCR. DNA sequence lengths of the open reading frames of TkSCD-1 and TkSCD-2 were determined to be 1110 and 681 bp, respectively. The molecular weights deduced from the corresponding genes were estimated to be 43.1 kDa (TkSCD-1) and 26.1 kDa (TkSCD-2). The amino acid sequences were compared with those of fatty acid desaturases and sterol desaturases from various organisms and used to analyze the relationships among TkSCDs. As assessed by heterologous expression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli, the enzymatic functions of both stearoyl-CoA desaturases revealed that the amount of C16:1 and C18:1 fatty acids increased by greater than 3-fold after induction with isopropyl β-D-thiogalactopyranoside. In particular, C18:1 fatty acid production increased greater than 10-fold in E. coli expressing TkSCD-1 and TkSCD-2. The results of this study suggest that both SCD genes from an Antarctic marine copepod encode a functional desaturase that is capable of increasing the amounts of palmitoleic acid and oleic acid in a prokaryotic expression system.


Antarctic copepod; FAME (fatty acid methyl ester); Oleic acid methyl ester; Palmitoleic acid methyl ester; Psychrophilic; Tigriopus kingsejongensis

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