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

Glucosamine-derived phospholipids in Escherichia coli. Structure and chemical modification of a triacyl glucosamine 1-phosphate found in a phosphatidylglycerol-deficient mutant.

Certain Escherichia coli mutants defective in phosphatidylglycerol biosynthesis accumulate novel glucosamine-derived phospholipids. We previously demonstrated that the simplest of these substance (lipid X) is a diacylglucosamine 1-phosphate bearing beta-hydroxymyristoyl groups at positions 2 and 3 (Takayama, K., Qureshi, N., Mascagni, P., Nashed, M. A., Anderson, L., and Raetz, C. R. H. (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 7379-7385). We now report the structural characterization of a triacylglucosamine 1-phosphate (designated lipid Y) that is also found in these mutants. Hydrolyzates of Y contain 2 mol of beta-hydroxymyristate and 1 mol of palmitate/mol of glucosamine. In the lipid, one of the beta-hydroxymyristates is amide-linked at position 2, while the two other fatty acyl groups are ester-linked. Fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry is used to confirm that Y is a monosaccharide derivative and that the molecular weight of Y as the free acid (C50H96NO13P) is 950.29. Analysis of Y by proton NMR spectroscopy at 200 MHz reveals that the anomeric configuration is alpha. Further, one of the esterified fatty acid residues is attached to the 3 OH of the sugar, while the second is linked to an OH moiety of a hydroxymyristate. The 4 and 6 OH groups of the sugar are unsubstituted, as in E. coli lipid X. To establish the precise location of each esterified fatty acyl residue, we subjected Y to a very mild alkaline hydrolysis in the presence of triethylamine. This resulted in the selective removal of a single hydroxymyristoyl group. The triethylamine-treated derivative (lipid Y) has a molecular weight of 723. NMR spectroscopy of Y shows that the 3 OH of the sugar is no longer substituted, while the beta OH of the remaining amide-linked hydroxymyristate is still esterified with palmitate. On the basis of these findings, we propose that lipid Y has the same fundamental structure as lipid X, except for the additional presence of a palmitoyl moiety on the N-linked hydroxymyristate. Presumably, lipid Y is synthesized from X by a selective acylation reaction.[1]


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