Regulation of the desaturation of fatty acids and its role in tolerance to cold and salt stress

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2002 Apr;5(2):208-10. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(02)00306-5.


The expression of cold-inducible genes is regulated by a two-component system in Synechocystis and Bacillus subtilis. The cold sensors are membrane-bound histidine kinases and it seems likely that they sense and transduce changes in the fluidity of membranes. Desaturation of fatty acids in membrane lipids has been implicated in tolerance to cold and salt stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Cyanobacteria / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Histidine Kinase
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sodium Chloride*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Protein Kinases
  • Histidine Kinase