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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Highly saturated endonuclear phosphatidylcholine is synthesized in situ and colocated with CDP-choline pathway enzymes.

Chromatin-associated phospholipids are well recognized. A report that catalytically active endonuclear CTP:choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase alpha is necessary for cell survival questions whether endonuclear, CDP-choline pathway phosphatidylcholine synthesis may occur in situ. We report that chromatin from human IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells possesses such a biosynthetic pathway. First, membrane-free nuclei retain all three CDP-choline pathway enzymes in proportions comparable with the content of chromatin-associated phosphatidylcholine. Second, following supplementation of cells with deuterated choline and using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, both the time course and molecular species labeling pattern of newly synthesized endonuclear and whole cell phosphatidylcholine revealed the operation of spatially separate, compositionally distinct biosynthetic routes. Specifically, endogenous and newly synthesized endonuclear phosphatidylcholine species are both characterized by a high degree of diacyl/alkylacyl chain saturation. This unusual species content and synthetic pattern (evident within 10 min of supplementation) are maintained through cell growth arrest by serum depletion and when proliferation is restored, suggesting that endonuclear disaturated phosphatidylcholine enrichment is essential and closely regulated. We propose that endonuclear phosphatidylcholine synthesis may regulate periodic nuclear accumulations of phosphatidylcholine-derived lipid second messengers. Furthermore, our estimates of saturated phosphatidylcholine nuclear volume occupancy of around 10% may imply a significant additional role in regulating chromatin structure.[1]


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