Lysophospholipid acyltransferases mediate phosphatidylcholine diversification to achieve the physical properties required in vivo

Cell Metab. 2014 Aug 5;20(2):295-305. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.05.019. Epub 2014 Jun 26.


The acyl-chain composition of the major mammalian phospholipid phosphatidylcholine (PC) is distinct in various tissues. Although it was classically suggested that PC diversity is acquired through acyl-chain remodeling, the mechanisms and biological relevance of acyl-chain diversity remain unclear. Here, we show that differences in the substrate selectivity of lysophospholipid acyltransferases regulate tissue PC acyl-chain composition through contribution of both the de novo and remodeling pathways, depending on the fatty acid species. Unexpectedly, while dipalmitoyl-PC (DPPC) is enriched through the remodeling pathway, several polyunsaturated PC molecules accumulate during the de novo pathway. We confirmed this concept for DPPC in pulmonary surfactant and showed that the biophysical properties of this lipid are important to prevent the early onset of acute lung injury. We propose a model of harmonized processes for phospholipid diversification to satisfy in vivo requirements, with an example of its biological relevance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine / analysis
  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine / metabolism
  • 1-Acylglycerophosphocholine O-Acyltransferase / genetics
  • 1-Acylglycerophosphocholine O-Acyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Lung Injury / etiology
  • Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phosphatidylcholines / analysis
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism*
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • 1,2-Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine
  • 1-Acylglycerophosphocholine O-Acyltransferase
  • 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine