Increase in free linolenic and linoleic acids associated with phospholipase D-mediated hydrolysis of phospholipids in wounded castor bean leaves

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Jul 31;1393(1):193-202. doi: 10.1016/s0005-2760(98)00048-4.


Stimulus-induced release of polyunsaturated fatty acids from membranes has been proposed to couple the processes of stimulus perception and oxylipin synthesis in the octadecanoid signaling pathway. This study investigated wound-induced changes in free fatty acids, diacylglycerol, and phospholipids at the site of wounding and at an unwounded area of the same wounded leaf in castor bean (Ricinus communis L.). Increases in free fatty acids and diacylglycerol and decreases in phospholipids were relatively large and continuous at the site of wounding. The changes at the unwounded area were selective and transient, suggesting a regulated activation of lipid turnover in response to wounding. In unwounded cells, the free fatty acids that increased in the early phase of wounding were linolenate and linoleate, which peaked within 5 min after wounding. Diacylglycerols that increased in unwounded cells were the species containing linolenate and linoleate, not those with oleate and stearate. Within 5 min of wounding, the levels of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylglycerol, but not other phospholipids, decreased in unwounded cells. These results provide evidence for the wound-induced selective increase in linolenate and linoleate in unwounded cells. The varied susceptibility of different phospholipids to hydrolysis after wounding indicates that phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylglycerol may serve as substrates that lead to the increase in linolenate and linoleate in the early phase of wound response. The pattern of increases in polyunsaturated fatty acids, diacylglycerol, and phosphatidic acid and of decreases in phospholipids suggests the activation of a PLD-initiated signaling pathway in response to wounding in castor bean.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Castor Bean / chemistry*
  • Diglycerides / analysis
  • Diglycerides / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / analysis
  • Hydrolysis
  • Linoleic Acid / analysis*
  • Phospholipase D / chemistry
  • Phospholipase D / metabolism*
  • Phospholipids / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Signal Transduction
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / analysis*


  • Diglycerides
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Phospholipids
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Phospholipase D