Regulation of phospholipid synthesis in Escherichia coli by guanosine tetraphosphate

Merlie, J.P.; Pizer, L.I.

Journal of Bacteriology 116(1): 355-366


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9193
PMID: 4583220
Accession: 044175240

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Phospholipid synthesis has been reported to be subject to stringent control in Escherichia coli. We present evidence that demonstrates a strict correlation between guanosine tetraphosphate accumulation and inhibition of phospholipid synthesis. In vivo experiments designed to examine the pattern of phospholipid labeling with (32)P-inorganic phosphate and (32)P-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate suggest that regulation must occur at the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase step. Assay of phospholipid synthesis by cell-free extracts and semipurified preparations revealed that guanosine tetraphosphate inhibits at least two enzymes specific for the biosynthetic pathway, sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase as well as sn-glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatidyl transferase. These findings provide a biochemical basis for the stringent control of lipid synthesis as well as regulation of steady-state levels of phospholipid in growing cells.