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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1985 Feb 28;813(1):10-8.

Phospholipid aliphatic chain composition modulates lipid class composition, but not lipid asymmetry in Clostridium butyricum.


The phospholipid composition of the butyric acid-producing clostridia is responsive to the degree of enrichment of the lipids with cis-unsaturated fatty acids. When Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium beijerinckii are grown on oleic acid in media devoid of biotin, the acyl and alk-1-enyl chains of the phospholipids become highly enriched with 18:1 and C19-cyclopropane. Under these conditions there is a marked increase in the glycerol acetals of the major plasmalogens of these organisms. We have grown both species on mixtures of palmitate and oleate in the absence of biotin. The alk-1-enyl chains were highly enriched with C18-unsaturated and C19-cyclopropane residues at all but the highest ratios of palmitate to oleate (80:20, w/w) added to the medium. At ratios of palmitate to oleate greater than or equal to 40:60, the saturated acid was incorporated predominantly into the phospholipid acyl chains in both organisms. The effects of increasing unsaturation of the acyl chains as the ratio of oleate to palmitate was increased was examined in C. butyricum. In cells grown on mixtures of palmitate and oleate equal to or exceeding 40% palmitate, the ratio of glycerol acetal lipid to total phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) was relatively constant. As the proportion of oleic acid added to the medium was increased, the ratio of glycerol acetal lipid to PE increased from 0.7 to 2.0. Thus the ratio of the polar lipids appears to respond to the content of phospholipids that contain two unsaturated chains. The fraction of PE present as plasmalogen remained relatively stable (0.82 +/- 0.05) at varying ratios of medium oleic and palmitic acids. Both the glycerol acetal of ethanolamine plasmalogen, and ethanolamine plasmalogen, are shown to be 80% or more in the outer monolayer of the cell membrane. These two polar lipids represent approx. 50% of the phospholipids in cells grown on exogenous fatty acid. The bulk of the remainder is polyglycerol phosphatides. We suggest that the ability of both species to grow with highly unsaturated membranes is related to their ability to modulate their polar lipid composition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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