, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 537-545
Date: 09 Apr 2011

Lysophospholipids in the Mediterranean Sponge Oscarella tuberculata : Seasonal Variability and Putative Biological Role

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Lysophospholipids (LPLs) are recognized as important signaling molecules in metazoan cells. LPLs seem to be widely distributed among marine invertebrates, but their physiological role remains poorly known. Marine sponges produce original phospholipids and LPLs whose isolation and structural elucidation rarely have been reported. Two LPLs were isolated for the first time from the Mediterranean Homoscleromorph sponge Oscarella tuberculata: a bioactive lyso-PAF already identified in some other sponge species; and the new lysophosphatidylethanolamine C20:2 (LPE 1). The expression of LPL metabolites was investigated over time to determine their baseline variations and to relate them to the sponge reproduction pattern in order to better understand their putative role in the sponge life cycle. Expression levels of both compounds appeared to be highly correlated displaying significant seasonal fluctuations with maximal values in summer and minimal in winter. A significant higher LPL content was detected in reproductive sponges and especially in females, with a peak occurring during embryogenesis and larval development. The results suggest that LPLs could play a role of mediators in sponge embryogenesis and morphogenesis.