Targeted Disruption Of Ether Lipid Synthesis In Mice

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Although plasmalogens (PLs) the major mammalian ether lipids (ELs) are known for almost 80 years, their physiological role is still enigmatic. Many diverse cellular processes such as modulation of membrane fluidity, facilitation of membrane fusion, synthesis of eicosanoids, mediation of signal transduction events and protection against oxidative stress were discussed to be affected by ELs (Nagan and Zoeller, 2001). Additionally ELs such as platelet activating factor (PAF), an alkylacetylglycerophospho- choline and seminolipid, a sulfogalaetosyl- alkylacylglycerol (SGalAAG) as well as its precursor galactosyl-alkylacylglycerol (GalAAG) were studied in greater detail and were shown to have important physiological functions in anaphylaxis (Ishii and Shimizu, 2000) as well as in spermatogenesis and myelination (Vos et al, 1994; Ishizuka, 1997). Furthermore a large group of proteins contain a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor to stably associate with membranes. Many of theses GPI anchors include an ether- bonded long chain alcohol and were found in important enzymes, such as erythrocyte acetylcholine esterase and placental alkaline phosphatase (Hooper, 1997; Chatterjee and Major, 2001).