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De novo arachidonic acid synthesis in Perkinsus marinus, a protozoan parasite of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica

De novo arachidonic acid synthesis in Perkinsus marinus, a protozoan parasite of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica

Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 119(2): 179-190

ISSN/ISBN: 0166-6851

PMID: 11814570

DOI: 10.1016/s0166-6851(01)00413-3

The capability of synthesizing fatty acids de novo in the meront stage of the oyster protozoan parasite, Perkinsus marinus, was investigated employing stable-isotope-labeled precursors (1,2 13C-acetate and palmitic-d(31) acid). Fatty acid methyl esters derived from 1,2 13C-acetate and palmitic-d(31) acid were analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and gas chromatography/flame ionization detection. Results revealed that in vitro cultured P. marinus meronts utilized 13C-acetate to synthesize a range of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The saturated fatty acids 14:0, 16:0, 18:0, 20:0, 22:0, 24:0 and the unsaturated fatty acids, 18:1(n-9), 18:2(n-6), 20:1(n-9), 20:2(n-6), 20:2(n-9), 20:3(n-6), 20:4(n-6) were found to contain 13C, after 7, 14, and 21 days incubation with the precursor. This indicates that meronts can synthesize fatty acid de novo using acetate as a substrate. Meronts efficiently elongated 16:0-d(31) to 18:0, 20:0, 22:0, 24:0, but desaturation activity was limited, after 7 and 14 days cultivation. Only a small quantity of 18:1-d(29) was detected. This suggests that meronts cannot directly convert exogenous palmitic acid or its products of elongation to unsaturated counterparts. The ability to synthesize 20:4(n-6) from acetate is particularly interesting. No parasitic protozoan has been reported to be capable of synthesizing long chain essential fatty acids, such as 20:4(n-6) de novo. Future study will be directed to determine whether the observed in vitro activities indeed reflect the in vivo activities, when meronts are associated with the host.

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Accession: 003701072

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