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Journal Article

Novel iso-branched ether lipids as specific markers of developmental sporulation in the myxobacterium Myxococcus xanthus

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Ring, M. W., Schwar, G., Thiel, V., Dickschat, J. S., Kroppenstedt, R. M., Schulz, S., et al. (2006). Novel iso-branched ether lipids as specific markers of developmental sporulation in the myxobacterium Myxococcus xanthus. J Biol Chem, 281(48), 36691-700. doi:10.1074/jbc.M607616200.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-095A-8
Iso-fatty acids (FAs) are the dominant FA family in all myxobacteria analyzed. Furthermore, it was postulated that iso-FAs or compounds derived thereof are involved in fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus, since mutants with a reduced level of iso-FA due to a reduced level of the precursor isovaleryl-CoA, are delayed in aggregation and produce only few myxospores. To elucidate the function of iso-FAs and their corresponding lipids we have analyzed the developmental phenotype of mutants having different levels of iso-FAs resulting in a clear correlation between the amount of iso-FAs and the delay of aggregation and reduction in spore yield. Addition of either isovalerate or 13-methyltetradecanoic acid resulted in restoration of the wild-type FA profile and normal development. Detailed analysis of the fatty acid (FA) profile during fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus wild-type revealed the specific accumulation of 13-methyltetradecanal and 1-O-13-methyltetradecylglycerol which were produced specifically in the myxospores and which are derived from 1-O-(13-methyl-1-Z-tetradecenyl)-2-O-(13-methyltetradecanoyl)-glycero-3-phosphati dylethanolamine (VEPE) and 1,2-di-(13-methyltetradecanoyl)-3-(13-methyltetradecyl)glycerol (TG-1), respectively. The structures of these unusual ether lipids have been determined by spectrometric methods and synthesis (for TG-1). Analysis of several mutants blocked at different stages of development indicated that the biosynthesis of TG-1 is developmentally regulated and that VEPE might be an intermediate in the TG-1 biosynthesis. Finally, addition of TG-1 to mutants blocked in the biosynthesis of isovaleryl-CoA could restore aggregation and sporulation emphasizing the important role of iso-branched lipids for myxobacterial development.