Increase of ornithine amino lipid content in a sulfonolipid-deficient mutant of Cytophaga johnsonae

J Bacteriol. 1989 Feb;171(2):952-7. doi: 10.1128/jb.171.2.952-957.1989.


The gram-negative gliding bacterium Cytophaga johnsonae contains not only large quantities of unusual sulfonolipids but also, as we report here, a second class of unusual lipids. These lipids were detected and quantified by two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography of lipids from cells grown in the presence of [14C]acetate and shown by chemical studies to be alpha-N-(3-fatty acyloxy fatty acyl)ornithines. Like the sulfonolipids, these ornithine lipids were localized in the outer membrane (whereas phosphatidylethanolamine was the predominant lipid of the inner membrane). In a sulfonolipid-deficient mutant, the missing lipid was replaced, specifically, by an increased amount of ornithine lipid. Cells grown in liquid media contained predominantly ornithine lipids with nonhydroxylated residues in the O-fatty acyl position. In contrast, surface-grown cells contained a high proportion of ornithine lipids in which the O-fatty acyl group was 3-hydroxylated. The sulfonolipids and ornithine lipids are apparently coregulated in the sense that, regardless of perturbations caused by mutation or growth conditions, their total amounts remain constant at 40% of total cell lipid.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytophaga / genetics*
  • Cytophaga / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids / genetics*
  • Lipids / isolation & purification
  • Mutation*
  • Ornithine / metabolism*


  • Lipids
  • ornithine containing aminolipid
  • sulfolipids
  • Ornithine