Molecular architecture and biophysical properties of phospholipids during thermal adaptation in fish: An experimental and model study

Elfrieda Fodor, Richard H. Jones, Csaba Buda, Klara Kitajka, Indranil Dey, Tibor Farkas

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Phospholipids from livers of carps (Cyprinus carpio L.) adapted to winter (5°C) and summer (25°C) temperatures were isolated, and the fatty acid composition of total phospholipids, as well as molecular species composition of diacyl phosphatidylcholines and ethanolamines, were determined. Order parameter of 5-doxyl stearic acid and steady-state fluorescence anisotropy of different anthroyloxy fatty acids-[2-, 12(N-9-anthroyloxy)stearic acid and 16(N-9-anthroyloxy)palmitic acid-embedded in native and synthetic (16:0/16:0, 16:0/22:6, 18:0/22:6, 18:1/22:6, 20:4/20:4, 22:6/22:6 phosphatidylcholines and 16:0/18:1, 18:1/22:6 phosphatidylethanolamines) phospholipid vesicles was also determined between -30 and 30°C and 5 and 30°C, respectively. There is an accumulation of 1-monoenoic, 2-polyenoic diacyl phosphatidylcholine and ethanolamine with a concomitant reduction of 1-stearoyl,2-docosahexaenoyl species in the cold-adapted state. Despite a 30% accumulation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in phospholipids in cold, there is only a 5°C downshift in the solid-gel to liquid-crystalline phase transition temperature (-8 vs. -13°C). Vesicles from total phospholipids of cold-adapted fish proved to be more disordered in all segments than from the warmadapted ones when assayed using 2,12-(N-9-anthroyloxy)stearic and 16-(N-9-anthroyloxy)palmitic acid. Vesicles made from purified phosphatidylcholines showed the same pattern, but they were more disordered than the corresponding total phospholipids. This could be modelled using mixed phospholipid vesicles made of synthetic 16:0/22:6 phosphatidylcholine (75%) and either 18:1/22:6 phosphatidylethanolamine (25%) vs. 16:0/18:1 phosphatidylethanolamine (25%) and comparison of the anisotropy parameters of 100% 16:0/22:6 and 100% 18:1/22:6 phosphatidylcholine vesicles. Mixing either 16:0/18:1 (25%) or 18:1/22:6 (25%) phosphatidylethanolamines to 18:0/22:6 (75%) phosphatidylcholine shifted down or up, respectively, the transition temperature of vesicles compared to 100% 18:0/22:6 vesicles assayed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy using 5-doxylstearic acid. It is concluded that it is not the gross amount of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in phospholipids, but rather their specific combination with cis Δ9 monounsaturated fatty acids in the position sn-1, especially in phosphatidylethanolamines, that is important in determining the physical properties of biomembranes in relation to adaptational temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1126
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology

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