The α Isoform of Diacylglycerol Kinase Exhibits Arachidonoyl Specificity with Alkylacylglycerol Academic Article uri icon

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  • We compared the diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) catalyzed phosphorylation of 1-O-hexanoyl-2-oleoylglycerol (HOG) with 1-O-hexanoyl-2-arachidonoylglycerol (HAG). We assayed the activity of DGKalpha and DGKzeta using a liposomal-based assay system. Liposomal assays show that the DGKalpha and, to a lesser extent, DGKzeta preferentially act on substrates containing an arachidonoyl group when this group is incorporated into alkylacylglycerols. The activity of DGKalpha was 82 times greater with HAG compared to HOG. DGKzeta is 10 times more active in catalyzing the phosphorylation of HAG compared to HOG. Although diacylglycerols were better substrates for both DGKalpha and DGKzeta than the alkylacylglycerols, no specificity was exhibited for arachidonoyl-containing diacylglycerols. However, this specificity for HAG over HOG is modulated by the phospholipid composition of the liposome. Addition of cholesterol and/or phosphatidylethanolamine partially reduces the substrate selectivity. We also analyzed the kinetic constants for the phosphorylation of both diacylglycerol and 1-alkyl-2-acylglycerol catalyzed by the alpha, epsilon, or zeta isoforms using a soluble Triton mixed micelle system. We found that all three isoforms of DGK can phosphorylate 1-alkyl-2-acylglycerols but generally at a lower rate than for the corresponding diacylglycerol. The specificity of DGKepsilon for diacylglycerols containing an arachidonoyl group was retained when the ester group in the C-1 position is replaced with an ether linkage. In contrast, DGKalpha and, to a lesser extent, DGKzeta had greater specificity for arachidonoyl-containing 1-alkyl-2-acylglycerols than for arachidonoyl-containing diacylglycerols. This demonstrates that the acyl chain specificity is affected by the structure of the lipid headgroup.


  • Epand, Richard
  • Kam, Angela
  • Bridgelal, Nadia
  • Saiga, Akihiko
  • Topham, Matthew K

publication date

  • November 1, 2004

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