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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1983 Nov 9;735(2):252-8.

Temperature-induced modifications of glycosphingolipids in plasma membranes of Neurospora crassa.


Plasma membranes isolated from a cell-wall-less mutant of Neurospora crassa grown at 37 and 15 degrees C display large differences in lipid compositions. A free sterol-to-phospholipid ratio of 0.8 was found in 37 degrees C membranes, while 15 degrees C plasma membranes exhibited a ratio of nearly 2.0. Membranes formed under both growth conditions were found to contain glycosphingolipids. Cultures grown at the low temperature, however, were found to contain 6-fold higher levels of glycosphingolipids and a corresponding 2-fold reduction of phospholipid levels. The high glycosphingolipid content at 15 degrees C compensates for the reduced levels of phospholipids in such a way that sterol/polar lipid ratios are almost the same in plasma membranes under the two growth conditions. Temperature-dependent changes in plasma-membrane phospholipid and glycosphingolipid species were also observed. Phosphatidylethanolamine levels were sharply reduced at 15 degrees C, in addition to a moderate increase in levels of unsaturated phospholipid fatty acids. Glycosphingolipids contained high levels of long-chain hydroxy fatty acids, which constituted 75% of the total fraction at 37 degrees C, but only 50% at 15 degrees C. Compositional changes were also observed in the long-chain base component of glycosphingolipids with respect to growth temperature. Fluorescence polarization studies indicate that the observed lipid modifications in 15 degrees C plasma membranes act to modulate bulk fluidity of the plasma-membrane lipids with respect to growth temperature. These studies suggest that coordinate modulation of glycosphingolipid, phospholipid and sterol content may be involved in regulation of plasma-membrane fluid properties during temperature acclimation.

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