Molecular Biology

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 134–141 | Cite as

Feedback between fluidity of membranes and transcription of the desB gene for the ω3-desaturase in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis

  • K. S. Mironov
  • E. G. Maksimov
  • G. V. Maksimov
  • D. A. LosEmail author
Molecular Biology of the Cell


Cells of prokaryotes (including cyanobacteria) respond to a decrease in the environmental temperature by activation of multiple genes with a low-temperature response. A decrease in temperature causes a reduction of the cell membrane fluidity, which is maintained at an optimum level due to the activity of fatty acid (FA) desaturases. We studied a temperature-dependent expression of the desB gene for the ω3-desaturase in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis, which is able to synthesize polyunsaturated FA, as well as in its double mutant (desA /desD ), defective in the Δ12- and Δ6-desaturase genes, for which the presence of only monounsaturated FA is typical. During a decrease in temperature, in wild type cells the amount of desB mRNA increased, reaching a maximum value at 24°C. In the desA /desD double mutant, an accumulation of the desB transcript was characterized by a maximum at 28–30°C. Thus, using the desB gene encoding the ω3-FA-desaturase, it was demonstrated that a temperature-dependent expression of genes responsible for the maintenance of an optimal fluidity of cell membranes is determined by a physical state of these membranes and is regulated by a feedback mode.


Synechocystis fluidity of membranes cold stress expression of genes 



fatty acids


polyunsaturated FA


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. S. Mironov
    • 1
  • E. G. Maksimov
    • 2
  • G. V. Maksimov
    • 2
  • D. A. Los
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Timiryazev Institute of Plant PhysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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