Journal of neurochemistry

Characterization of lysophospholipid metabolizing enzymes in human brain.

PMID 7931340


Lysophospholipids are generated during the turnover and breakdown of membrane phospholipids. We have identified and partially characterized three enzymes involved in the metabolism of lysophospholipids in human brain, namely, lysophospholipase, lysophospholipid:acyl-CoA acyltransferase (acyltransferase), and lysophospholipid:lysophospholipid transacylase (transacylase). Each enzyme displayed comparable levels of activity in biopsied and autopsied human brain, although in all cases the activity was somewhat lower in human than that in rat brain. All three enzymes were localized predominantly in the particulate fraction, with lysophospholipase possessing the greatest activity followed by acyltransferase and transacylase. Lysophosphatidylcholine possessed a Km in the micromolar range for lysophospholipase and transacylase, and in the millimolar range for acyltransferase, whereas arachidonyl-CoA displayed a Km in the micromolar range for acyltransferase. The three enzymes differed in their pH optima, with lysophospholipase being most active at pH 8.0, transacylase at pH 7.5, and acyltransferase at pH 6.0. Both bromophenacyl bromide and N-ethylmaleimide inhibited lysophospholipase activity and, to a lesser extent, that of acyltransferase and transacylase. None of the enzyme activities were affected by the presence of dithiothreitol or EDTA, although particulate lysophospholipase was activated approximately two-fold by the addition of 5 mM MgCl2 or CaCl2 but not KCl. Transacylating activity was stimulated by CoA, the EC50 of activation being 6.8 microM. Acyltransferase displayed an approximately threefold preference for arachidonyl-CoA over palmitoyl-CoA, whereas the acylation rate of different lysophospholipids was in the order lysophosphatidylinositol > 1-palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine > 1-oleoyl lysophosphatidylcholine > lysophosphatidylserine > lysophosphatidylethanolamine. This, and the preference of human brain phospholipase A2 for phosphatidylinositol, suggests that this phospholipid may possess a higher turnover rate than the other phospholipid classes examined. Human brain homogenates also possessed the ability to transfer fatty acid from lysophosphatidylcholine to lysophosphatidylethanolamine. In addition, we also present evidence that diacylglycerophospholipids can act as acyl donors for the transacylation of lysophospholipids. We have therefore demonstrated the presence of, and partially characterized, three enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of lysophospholipids in human brain. Our results suggest that lysophospholipase may be the major route by which lysophospholipids are removed from the cell membrane in human brain. However, all three enzymes likely play an important role in the remodeling of membrane composition and thereby contribute to the overall functioning of membrane-associated processes.

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1-Oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, synthetic, ≥99%