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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993 Aug 11;1169(2):135-45.

Biosynthesis of a novel 3-oxo-2-tetradecyloctadecanoate-containing phospholipid by a cell-free extract of Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

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Mycobacteriology Research Laboratory, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI 53705.


We have isolated, purified, and identified by chemical analyses and mass spectrometry, a novel 3-oxo-2-tetradecyloctadecanoate (dehydrocorynomycolate)-containing phospholipid (PL-1) from the chloroform-methanol extract of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. This phospholipid was separated from all of the other known dehydrocorynomycolate and 3-hydroxy-2-tetradecyloctadecanoate (corynomycolate)-containing lipids and found to be unstable even at -20 degrees C. It was present in trace amounts as a homologous series (molecular weights of 1400 and 1404 as the methyl esters) and composed of a dehydrocorynomycolate, a phosphate group, a diacylglycerol, and an unidentified amine-containing component. Because of the complexity of these phospholipids, their complete structural determination is yet to be completed. A cell-free extract of C. diphtheriae catalyzed the incorporation of radiolabel from [14C]palmitic acid into PL-1. This incorporation was ATP-dependent, and the rate was linear with respect to both time and protein concentration. The radiolabel was incorporated primarily into the dehydrocorynomycoloyl moiety of PL-1. While avidin did not show any significant effect, cerulenin showed a marked inhibition of this reaction. Based on these results, we suggest that this dehydrocorynomycolate-containing PL-1 may be the long-sought acyl carrier-containing product of a Claisen-type condensation.

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