Ha-ras-transformation alters the metabolism of phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts

Cell Biol Int. 1999;23(9):603-10. doi: 10.1006/cbir.1999.0430.


Cultured NIH 3T3 fibroblasts were employed to investigate the changes in the phospholipid metabolism induced by Ha-ras transformation. All phospholipid fractions were reduced in ras-transformed fibroblasts except phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). The incorporation of labeled choline and ethanolamine into phosphatidylcholine (PC), PE and their corresponding metabolites were elevated in a similar manner in the transformed cells. The enhanced uptake of choline and ethanolamine correlated with the activation of choline kinase and ethanolamine kinase. Similarly, the uptake of arachidonic, oleic and palmitic acids by PC and PE was higher in ras-cells. Acyl-CoA synthetases, which esterify fatty acid before their incorporation into lysophospholipids, were also activated. However, both CTP:phosphocholine-cytidylyltransferase and CTP:phosphoethanolamine-chytidyltransferase were inhibited in the transformed cells. This fact, taken together with the observed activation of choline- and ethanolamine kinases, led to accumulation of phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine, which have been presumed to participate in the processes of tumor development. PC biosynthesis seemed to be carried out through the CDP-choline pathway, which was stimulated in the oncogenic cells, whereas PE was more likely, a product of phosphatidylserine decarboxylation rather than the CDP-ethanolamine pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / metabolism*
  • 3T3 Cells / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, ras
  • Mice
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / metabolism*


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines