Phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) is the most abundant phospholipid in numerous eukaryotes and is generally thought to be essential for membrane structure and cellular function. We designed a specific test of this idea by using genetic and biochemical manipulation of yeast. Yeast mutants (pem1 pem2Delta) lacking the phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) methyltransferase enzymes require choline for growth and cannot make N-methylated phospholipids. When these strains are grown on a glucose carbon source supplemented with 20 mm propanolamine (Prn), the PtdCho level declines precipitously to the limits of detection (<0.6%), and the hexagonal phase-forming, primary amine-containing lipids, PtdEtn and PtdPrn, constitute approximately 60% of the total phospholipid content of the cell. When the lipids were analyzed by mass spectrometry, there was no compensatory shift in unsaturation of the PtdEtn and PtdPrn toward more bilayer-forming species. Thus the majority of the cellular amino phospholipids remained hexagonal phase-forming. The pem1 pem2Delta cells will also grow without choline, in the presence of Prn, on nonfermentable carbon sources (requiring functional mitochondria) and accumulate nearly 70% of their phospholipid as hexagonal phase-forming types. These data provide compelling evidence that the functions of PtdCho and N-methylated lipids in membranes are nonessential in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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|Evidence ID||Analyze ID||Gene||Gene Systematic Name||Phenotype||Experiment Type||Experiment Type Category||Mutant Information||Strain Background||Chemical||Details||Reference|
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