Science366: 128-132, 4 Oct. 2019. DOI: 10.1126/science.aay1436 Portada


Aránzazu Gallego-García, Antonio J. Monera-Girona, Elena Pajares-Martínez, Eva Bastida-Martínez, Ricardo Pérez-Castaño, Antonio A. Iniesta, Marta Fontes, S. Padmanabhan, Montserrat Elías-Arnanz


Plasmalogens are glycerophospholipids with a hallmark sn-1 vinyl ether bond. These lipids are found in animals and some bacteria and have proposed membrane organization, signaling, and antioxidant roles. We discovered the plasmanylethanolamine desaturase activity that is essential for vinyl ether bond formation in a bacterial enzyme, CarF, which is a homolog of the human enzyme TMEM189. CarF mediates light-induced carotenogenesis in Myxococcus xanthus, and plasmalogens participate in sensing photooxidative stress through singlet oxygen. TMEM189 and other animal homologs could functionally replace CarF in M. xanthus, and knockout of TMEM189 in a human cell line eliminated plasmalogens. Discovery of the human plasmanylethanolamine desaturase will spur further study of plasmalogen biogenesis, functions, and roles in disease.


Los lípidos son componentes celulares cruciales de los seres vivos y realizan numerosas funciones esenciales. Un tipo de glicerofosfolípidos, los plasmalógenos,se encuentran solo en las membranas celulares de animales y algunas bacterias, y se caracterizan por presentar un ácido graso unido mediante un enlace vinil-éter. Estudiando cómo una bacteria responde a la luz hemos identificado la desaturasa, buscada durante décadas, que genera el enlace vinil-éter a partir de un enlace éter. Hasta ahora, la función atribuida a los plasmalógenos se ha basado en estudiar el efecto de mutaciones en genes que participan en pasos anteriores de la ruta de biosíntesis. El descubrimiento del gen que determina la desaturasa permitirá un análisis directo del papel de los plasmalógenos y su relación con diversas patologías humanas..





El grupo de Genética Molecular de la Universidad de Murcia, dirigido por la Prof. Montserrat Elías Arnanz, investiga los mecanismos moleculares que regulan la respuesta de la bacteria Myxococcus xanthus a diversos estreses tales como la exposición a la luz, así como su posible conservación evolutiva en otros organismos, procariotas o eucariotas. Para ello, utiliza un abordaje genético-molecular, y biofísico-estructural en colaboración con el Prof. S. Padmanabhan, miembro del “Grupo de Estructura, Dinámica e Interacciones de Proteínas por RMN” (IQFR-CSIC).

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