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).

Descargar el artículo

Did you publish an interesting article recently?

Send it through our application form and we will contact you. Age limit: 32.

The selected articles will participate at the Award to the best article of young people of the SEBBM which will be given during SEBBM conference, that will take place at Spain (free registration, travel and accommodation).

More articles of the month

Evaluation of different approaches used to study membrane permeabilization by actinoporins on model lipid vesicles


Release of aqueous contents from model lipid vesicles has been a standard procedure to evaluate pore formation efficiency by actinoporins, such as sticholysin II (StnII), for the last few decades...

Read more

ADAR1-mediated RNA editing is a novel oncogenic process in thyroid cancer and regulates miR-200 activity


Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) convert adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA. A-to-I editing of RNA is a widespread posttranscriptional process that has recently emerged as an important mechanism...

Read more

Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ decreases with age and correlates with the decline in muscle function in Drosophila


Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with age, has been linked to impairment of the cytosolic Ca2+ peak that triggers muscle contraction, but mechanistic details remain unknown...

Read more

Structural basis for substrate specificity and catalysis of α1,6-fucosyltransferase


Core-fucosylation is an essential biological modification by which a fucose is transferred from GDP-β-L-fucose to the innermost N-acetylglucosamine residue of N-linked glycans. A single human enzyme α1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8) is the...

Read more

Molecular basis for fibroblast growth factor 23 O-glycosylation by GalNAc-T3


Polypeptide GalNAc-transferase T3 (GalNAc-T3) regulates fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) by O-glycosylating Thr178 in a furin proprotein processing motif RHT 178R ↓S. FGF23 regulates phosphate homeostasis and deficiency in GALNT3...

Read more

Identification of distinct maturation steps involved in human 40S ribosomal subunit biosynthesis


Technical problems intrinsic to the purification of preribosome intermediates have limited our understanding of ribosome biosynthesis in humans. Addressing this issue is important given the implication of this biological process...

Read more

Unraveling the cellular origin and clinical prognostic markers of infant B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia using genome-wide analysis


B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the commonest childhood cancer. In infants, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia remains fatal, especially in patients with t(4;11), present in ~80% of cases. The pathogenesis of...

Read more

Mip6 binds directly to the Mex67 UBA domainto maintain low levels of Msn2/4 stress-dependent mRNAs


RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) participate in all steps of gene expression, underscoring their potential as regulators of RNA homeostasis. We structurally and functionally characterize Mip6, a four-RNA recognition motif (RRM)-containing RBP...

Read more

A bacterial light response reveals an orphan desaturase for human plasmalogen synthesis


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...

Read more

The structure of a polygamous repressor reveals how phage-inducible chromosomal islands spread in nature


Stl is a master repressor encoded by Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) that maintains integration of these elements in the bacterial chromosome. After infection or induction of a resident helper...

Read more

Protector Members