Role of fatty acid structure in the reversible activation of phosphatidylcholine synthesis in lymphocytes

Kristin E. Anderson, Donna S. Whitlon, Gerald C. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Fatty acids rapidly accelerate (1.5-7.0-fold) the incorporation of [methyl-3H]choline chloride into the phosphatidylcholine fraction of bovine lymphocyte lipids. This ability of fatty acids to activate choline phospholipid synthesis has been correlated with certain structural features of fatty acids. Mono- and polyenoic unsaturated fatty acids of 18 and 20 carbons in length are highly active, whereas their saturated analogues are nearly inactive. Among the unsaturated fatty acids, the cis-isomers are active, while the trans-isomers are relatively ineffective. The delayed addition of bovine serum albumin (5 mg/ml) and other lipid-binding proteins to activated cells rapidly counteracts the lipid effects. The activated state of the cell membrane thus appears to be a dynamic one, requiring the continued interaction of the fatty acid with a lipid-sensitive target molecule of the cell surface that in turn appears to coordinate the enzymatic components of this pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 9 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Vera Crowell and Edith Anderson for their capablea ssistancea nd Mary LeMahieu for her help in the preparationo f this manuscript.T his work was supportedb y Grants P30-CA-07175a nd POl-CA-23076 from the National Cancer Institute,U SPHS, and NIH Training Grant T32-CA-09135.G .C. Mueller is the recipient of a researchc areer award from the National Cancer Institute.


  • (Bovine lymphocyte)
  • Fatty acid structure
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Phospholipid synthesis


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