Biosynthesis of Ether-Type Polar Lipids in Archaea and Evolutionary Considerations

Department of Chemistry, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan.
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (Impact Factor: 14.61). 04/2007; 71(1):97-120. DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.00033-06
Source: PubMed


This review deals with the in vitro biosynthesis of the characteristics of polar lipids in archaea along with preceding in vivo studies. Isoprenoid chains are synthesized through the classical mevalonate pathway, as in eucarya, with minor modifications in some archaeal species. Most enzymes involved in the pathway have been identified enzymatically and/or genomically. Three of the relevant enzymes are found in enzyme families different from the known enzymes. The order of reactions in the phospholipid synthesis pathway (glycerophosphate backbone formation, linking of glycerophosphate with two radyl chains, activation by CDP, and attachment of common polar head groups) is analogous to that of bacteria. sn-Glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase is responsible for the formation of the sn-glycerol-1-phosphate backbone of phospholipids in all archaea. After the formation of two ether bonds, CDP-archaeol acts as a common precursor of various archaeal phospholipid syntheses. Various phospholipid-synthesizing enzymes from archaea and bacteria belong to the same large CDP-alcohol phosphatidyltransferase family. In short, the first halves of the phospholipid synthesis pathways play a role in synthesis of the characteristic structures of archaeal and bacterial phospholipids, respectively. In the second halves of the pathways, the polar head group-attaching reactions and enzymes are homologous in both domains. These are regarded as revealing the hybrid nature of phospholipid biosynthesis. Precells proposed by Wächtershäuser are differentiated into archaea and bacteria by spontaneous segregation of enantiomeric phospholipid membranes (with sn-glycerol-1-phosphate and sn-glycerol-3-phosphate backbones) and the fusion and fission of precells. Considering the nature of the phospholipid synthesis pathways, we here propose that common phospholipid polar head groups were present in precells before the differentiation into archaea and bacteria.

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    • "Interestingly , several versions of this pathway have been observed in eukaryotes: whilst in Kinetoplastid and Apicomplexan organisms both enzymes are phospholipases D, in plants both enzymes are CDP transferases . Moreover, recent evidence in silico has demonstrated the presence of a bacterial-like phosphatidylglycerol phosphate synthase together with evidence of CL in several species of archaeas [8] [9] [10]. This intricate diversity of pathways for CL biosynthesis has been poorly studied; the only study was restricted to uncovering the evolution of Cls and CL-remodeling enzymes (a process restricted to the Eukarya Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1847 (2015) 599–606 "

    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics 04/2015; · 5.35 Impact Factor
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    • "The proposed biosynthetic route to GDGTs for archaea involves the dimerisation of phosphate-modified GDDs (Koga and Morii, 2007 and references therein; Scheme 2), with GTGTs believed to accumulate when macrocyclisation does not proceed to completion (de la Torre et al., 2008). Structural evidence suggests that cyclopentyl ring incorporation steps, and the biphytane cross-linking steps which lead to GMGTs, occur after formation of precursor GDDs (De Rosa et al., 1983b; de la Torre et al., 2008; Schouten et al., 2008a; Knappy et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid extracts from several aquatic sediments and a compost-fertilised soil contained higher homologues of widely reported archaeal diglycerol tetraether cores. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry indicated that the structures are based on polyols not reported in archaeal membrane lipids, homoglycerol (GH; C4H8O3) or dihomoglycerol (GDH; C5H10O3) groups, which replace one of the terminal glycerol (C3H6O3) moieties in the diglycerol lipids. The homologues included monoalkyl, dialkyl and trialkyl tetraether cores, some of which were inferred to contain cyclopentyl rings. Distributional differences between diglycerol tetraethers and associated homologues in all the samples indicate a biogenic route and not a diagenetic route to the latter. The homologues could be prominent components of tetraether distributions in some samples (up to ca. 22% of isoprenoid tetraether lipid cores), are preserved in ancient sediments (e.g. Jurassic shales, 160 Ma) and occur in disparate terrestrial and oceanic settings. Hence, their presence in other sedimentary archives would be expected. The components clearly encode different information from the diglycerol tetraethers and may allow refinement of interpretations from environmental ether lipid distributions.
    Organic Geochemistry 11/2014; 76. DOI:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2014.06.003 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    • "The lipid membrane plays a fundamental role in energy conservation and the maintenance of intercellular homeostasis. Microorganisms synthesize diverse lipid structures with widely varying biophysical properties (Koga and Morii, 2007; Chong et al., 2012) that have facilitated their diversification into environments with wide ranging conditions, including extremes of temperature and pH (Macalady et al., 2004; Pearson et al., 2008; Boyd et al., 2013). The predominant membrane lipids of Archaea are isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (iGDGTs), which occur ubiquitously in the natural environment (Schouten et al., 2000, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: H-shaped glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (H-GDGTs), also called glycerol monoalkyl glycerol tetraethers (GMGTs), are a unique group of membrane lipids found in several lineages of Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota. Their in these taxa is, however, not well understood. Here we show their presence in both core lipid and polar lipid fractions from microbial biomass sampled from hot springs in Tibet, China (21.9 to 80.0 °C; pH 7.0 to 9.1), Tengchong, China (55.1 to 93.6 °C; pH 2.5 to 9.4) and Yellowstone National Park (YNP), USA (16.3 to 86.7 °C; pH 2.1 to 9.6) using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The number of cyclopentyl rings ranged from zero (H-GDGT-0) to six (H-GDGT-6) in lipid fractions in Tengchong and YNP and from zero to four (H-GDGT-4) in those from Tibet. While H-GDGT-0 was the most abundant H-GDGT in Tibetan springs, H-GDGT-4 predominated in Tengchong and H-GDGT-6 predominant in YNP, resulting in higher ring indices in the latter springs. While pH appeared to be the most important factor affecting the variation in the relative abundance and average number of cyclopentane rings in H-GDGTs from YNP communities, both temperature and pH appeared to be important controls on the abundance of H-GDGT lipids in Tengchong communities, whereas neither pH nor temperature appeared to influence the abundance or average number of cyclopentane rings in H-GDGTs from Tibetan spring communities. Furthermore, the relative abundance of H-GDGTs to total iGDGTs was greater in hot springs with acidic pH, particularly those from YNP. This finding, coupled with taxonomic profiling of archaeal 16S rRNA genes recovered from the same YNP springs, indicates that H-GDGTs in acidic springs may be synthesized from members of the archaeal orderThermoplasmatales, which are adapted to acidic pH.
    Organic Geochemistry 10/2014; 75. DOI:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2014.06.009 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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