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Changes in the distribution of membrane lipids during growth of Thermotoga maritima at different temperatures: Indications for the potential mechanism of biosynthesis of ether-bound diabolic acid (membrane-spanning) lipids
Sahonero Canavesi, D.X.; Villanueva, L.; Bale, N.J.; Bosviel, J.; Koenen, M.; Hopmans, E.C.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2022). Changes in the distribution of membrane lipids during growth of Thermotoga maritima at different temperatures: Indications for the potential mechanism of biosynthesis of ether-bound diabolic acid (membrane-spanning) lipids. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 88(2). https://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aem.01763-21
In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology: Washington. ISSN 0099-2240; e-ISSN 1098-5336, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    membrane-spanning lipids; diabolic acid; biosynthesis; Thermotoga maritima; growth phase; ether lipids; Thermotoga; lipid biosynthesis

Authors  Top 
  • Sahonero Canavesi, D.X.
  • Villanueva, L., more
  • Bale, N.J., more
  • Bosviel, J.
  • Koenen, M., more
  • Hopmans, E.C., more
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more

Abstract

    Membrane-spanning lipids are present in a wide variety of archaea, but they are rarely in bacteria. Nevertheless, the (hyper)thermophilic members of the order Thermotogales harbor tetraester, tetraether, and mixed ether/ester membrane-spanning lipids mostly composed of core lipids derived from diabolic acids, C30, C32, and C34 dicarboxylic acids with two adjacent mid-chain methyl substituents. Lipid analysis of Thermotoga maritima across growth phases revealed a decrease of the relative abundance of fatty acids together with an increase of diabolic acids with independence of growth temperature. We also identified isomers of C30 and C32 diabolic acids, i.e., dicarboxylic acids with only one methyl group at C-15. Their distribution suggests they are products of the condensation reaction but are preferably produced when the length of the acyl chains is not optimal. Compared with growth at the optimal temperature of 80°C, an increase of glycerol ether-derived lipids was observed at 55°C. Our analysis only detected diabolic acid-containing intact polar lipids with phosphoglycerol (PG) head groups. Considering these findings, we hypothesize a biosynthetic pathway for the synthesis of membrane-spanning lipids based on PG polar lipid formation, suggesting that the protein catalyzing this process is a membrane protein. We also identified, by genomic and protein domainanalyses, a gene coding for a putative plasmalogen synthase homologue inT. maritima that is also present in other bacteria producing sn-1-alkyl ether lipids but not plasmalogens, suggesting it is involved in the conversion of the ester-to-ether bond in the diabolic acids bound in membrane-spanning lipids.


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