PSI1is responsible for the stearic acid enrichment that is characteristic of phosphatidylinositol in yeast


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Abstract

In yeast, both phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylserine are synthesized from cytidine diphosphate-diacylglycerol. Because, as in other eukaryotes, phosphatidylinositol contains more saturated fatty acids than phosphatidylserine (and other phospholipids), it has been hypothesized that either phosphatidylinositol is synthesized from distinct cytidine diphosphate-diacylglycerol molecules, or that, after its synthesis, it is modified by a hypothetical acyltransferase that incorporates saturated fatty acid into neo-synthesized molecules of phosphatidylinositol. We used database search methods to identify an acyltransferase that could catalyze such an activity. Among the various proteins that we studied, we found that Psi1p (phosphatidylinositol stearoyl incorporating 1 protein) is required for the incorporation of stearate into phosphatidylinositol because GC and MS analyses of psi1Δ lipids revealed an almost complete disappearance of stearic (but not of palmitic acid) at the sn-1 position of this phospholipid. Moreover, it was found that, whereas glycerol 3-phosphate, lysophosphatidic acid and 1-acyl lysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase activities were similar in microsomal membranes isolated from wild-type and psi1Δ cells, microsomal membranes isolated from psi1Δ cells are devoid of the sn-2-acyl-1-lysolysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase activity that is present in microsomal membranes isolated from wild-type cells. Moreover, after the expression of PSI1 in transgenic psi1Δ cells, the sn-2-acyl-1-lysolysophosphatidylinositol acyltransferase activity was recovered, and was accompanied by a strong increase in the stearic acid content of lysophosphatidylinositol. As previously suggested for phosphatidylinositol from animal cells (which contains almost exclusively stearic acid as the saturated fatty acid), the results obtained in the present study demonstrate that the existence of phosphatidylinositol species containing stearic acid in yeast results from a remodeling of neo-synthesized molecules of phosphatidylinositol.

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