sn-glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase in Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum: key enzyme in biosynthesis of the enantiomeric glycerophosphate backbone of ether phospholipids of archaebacteria

J Biochem. 1995 May;117(5):933-5. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a124822.


One of the most characteristic features of archaebacterial ether phospholipids is the enantiomeric configuration of their glycerophosphate backbone (sn-glycerol-1-phosphate), that is the mirror image of the structure of the eubacterial or eukaryotic counterpart. The enzyme that forms glycerophosphate of this configuration was found for the first time in a cell-free extract of the methanogen, Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, and was identified as sn-glycerol-1-phosphate:NAD+ oxidoreductase (sn-glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase) after partial purification. Because sn-glycerol-1-phosphate has been found to be a precursor of ether lipids of this organism, sn-glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of the enantiomeric ether lipids of methanogens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Archaea / chemistry
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Chemical Fractionation
  • Chromatography
  • Dihydroxyacetone Phosphate / metabolism
  • Glycerolphosphate Dehydrogenase / isolation & purification
  • Glycerolphosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Glycerophosphates / biosynthesis*
  • Methanobacterium / enzymology*
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases / isolation & purification*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Phospholipid Ethers / chemistry
  • Phospholipid Ethers / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Triose-Phosphate Isomerase / metabolism


  • Glycerophosphates
  • Phospholipid Ethers
  • NADP
  • Dihydroxyacetone Phosphate
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Glycerolphosphate Dehydrogenase
  • glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • Triose-Phosphate Isomerase