Thermal Control of Fatty Acid Synthetases in Bacteria
A wide variety of organisms, ranging from bacteria to higher plants and animals, adjust the fatty acid composition of their membrane lipids in response to the environmental temperature. The mechanisms regulating the temperature-dependent alteration, which have been studied extensively by many investigators (Sinensky, 1971; Kito et al., 1975; Cronan and Gelmann, 1975; Okuyama et al., 1977; Slack and Roughan, 1978; Fukushima et al., 1976; Miller et al., 1976; Cossins and Prosser, 1978), seem to operate at the levels of both phosphatidic acid synthesis and fatty acid synthesis. Microorganisms are particularly useful for studying the mechanisms of this alteration for two reasons. First, they quickly respond to changes in their growth temperature, and second, it is relatively easy to isolate mutants, which may provide a great deal of information. The most commonly observed changes in fatty acid composition are those in the proportions of unsaturated fatty acids and in the degree of unsaturation. In some cases, acyl chain length may also change with that of the growth temperature (McElhaney, 1974; see Russell, this volume).
KeywordsFatty Acid Composition Unsaturated Fatty Acid Saturated Fatty Acid Fatty Acid Synthesis Cellular Fatty Acid
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