Encysted embryos (cysts) of the crustacean Artemia franciscana exhibit enormous tolerance to adverse conditions encompassing high doses of radiation, years of anoxia, desiccation and extreme salinity. So far, several mechanisms have been proposed to contribute to this extremophilia, however, none were sought in the lipid profile of the cysts. Here in, we used high resolution shotgun lipidomics suited for detailed quantitation and analysis of lipids in uncharacterized biological membranes and samples and assembled the total, mitochondrial and mitoplastic lipidome of Artemia franciscana cysts. Overall, we identified and quantitated 1098 lipid species dispersed among 22 different classes and subclasses. Regarding the mitochondrial lipidome, most lipid classes exhibited little differences from those reported in other animals, however, Artemia mitochondria harboured much less phosphatidylethanolamine, plasmenylethanolamines and ceramides than mitochondria of other species, some of which by two orders of magnitude. Alternatively, Artemia mitochondria exhibited much higher levels of phosphatidylglycerols and phosphatidylserines. The identification and quantitation of the total and mitochondrial lipidome of the cysts may help in the elucidation of actionable extremophilia-affording proteins, such as the 'late embryogenesis abundant' proteins, which are known to interact with lipid membranes.
Keywords: Cardiolipin; Ceramide; Extremophilia; Phosphatidylethanolamine; Phosphatidylglycerol; Phosphatidylserine.
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