Determinants of lipids acyl chain specificity: A tale of two enzymes
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It is becoming widely acknowledged that many biological processes are dependent on specific lipid molecular species. In healthy humans, two important lipid molecular species for cell physiology are tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin (in the heart) and 1-stearoyl-2-arachidonoyl phosphatidylinositols (throughout the organism). The predominance of these lipid molecular species is in part due to the presence of enzymes along their biosynthetic pathways that favor their enrichment with specific acyl chains. In cardiolipin biosynthesis, one example is the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme tafazzin, while for the biosynthesis of phosphatidylinositols the epsilson isoform of diacylglycerol kinase (DGKε) plays an important role. Here a discussion of the roles played by both enzyme structure and membrane environment on the production of specific lipid molecular species by these two membrane-acting enzymes will be made. It is proposed that the enrichment of certain lipid molecular species within the organism is a result of a fine-tuned interplay between enzyme structure and membrane environment.
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