Membrane phospholipid synthesis in Escherichia coli. Cloning of a structural gene (plsB) of the sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyl/transferase

J Biol Chem. 1980 Oct 10;255(19):9413-20.


Si+ hybrid ColE1 plasmids of the Clarke-Carbon collection (Clarke, C., and Carbon, J. (1976) Cell 9, 91-99) which eliminate the sn-glycerol 3-phosphate growth requirement of a mutant of Escherichia coli with a Km defect in sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (plsB) were identified. Marked overproduction of a plasmid-encoded sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase with a wild type Km in a host plsB- background indicates that the hybrid plasmids carry a structural gene for this enzyme. In addition, all of these plasmids suppress the phenotype of a mutation in a second locus involved in phospholipid biosynthesis, dgk (diglyceride kinase), and one of them also bears the dnaB structural gene. Diglyceride kinase activity is also overproduced in these strains. The linkage of plsB, dgk and dnaB loci was confirmed by transduction analysis which demonstrated the clockwise gene order malB, dnaB, dgk, plsB, and uvrA near Minute 91 on the E. coli linkage map. This is in contrast to the previously reported co-transduction of plsB with dctA near Minute 78 (Cronan, J. E., Jr., and Bell, R. M. (1974) J. Bacteriol., 120, 227-233). Recloning of restriction endonuclease fragments and in vitro mutagenesis have localized the dgk, and plsB loci to a 2.2-megadalton DNA segment, and have demonstrated that diglyceride kinase and sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase activities reside in separate polypeptides. Availability of these clones and mutationally altered derivatives has allowed the identification of a single polypeptide (Mr = 83,000) corresponding to the sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase and purification of this membrane-bound enzyme to near homogeneity (Larson, T. J., Lightner, V. A., Green, P. R., Modrich, P., and Bell, R. M. (1980) J. Biol. Chem. 255, 9421-9426). The size of the plsB polypeptide indicates that a major fraction of the DNA segment to which this gene has been localized is involved in coding for the sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA, Recombinant / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Genes*
  • Glycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Membrane Lipids / biosynthesis*
  • Phenotype
  • Phospholipids / biosynthesis*
  • Plasmids
  • Species Specificity
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Acyltransferases
  • Glycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes