The structures of two novel polar lipids (AGI and AI) of an aerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon, Aeropyrum pernix, were elucidated. AGI and AI were the only two major lipids and accounted for 91 mol% and 9 mol%, respectively, of total polar lipids of this organism. The core lipid of A. pernix total lipids consisted solely of 2,3-di-O-sesterterpanyl-sn-glycerol (C25,25-archaeol). The molecular weights of the free acid forms of AGI and AI were shown by FAB-mass spectrometry to be 1196 and 1034, respectively. AI was completely hydrolyzed by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, while AGI was not hydrolyzed at all under the same condition for the hydrolysis of AI. The molar ratio of phosphate, myo-inositol, and glucose in AGI was 1.0:0.97:0.95. The positions of linkages between myo-inositol and glucose, and between myo-inositol and phosphate in AGI were determined by NMR analyses of intact AGI and glucosylinositol prepared from AGI. Finally, it was concluded that the structures of AGI and AI were 2,3-di-O-sesterterpanyl-sn-glycerol-1-phospho-1'-(2'-O-alpha-D-glu cosyl)- myo-inositol (C25,25-archaetidyl(glucosyl)inositol) and 2,3-di-O-sesterterpanyl-sn-glycerol-1-phospho-myo-inositol (C25,25-archaetidylinositol), respectively. This is the first example that a core lipid of whole polar lipids is composed of only one species C25,25-archaeol in one organism and that glucosylinositol is found in a polar lipid as a polar head group.