Reconstruction of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Acid Synthesis Pathways in Marine Red Microalga Porphyridium cruentum Using Lipidomics and Transcriptomics

Mar Drugs. 2024 Feb 9;22(2):82. doi: 10.3390/md22020082.


The marine red microalga Porphyridium can simultaneously synthesize long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5, EPA) and arachidonic acid (C20:4, ARA). However, the distribution and synthesis pathways of EPA and ARA in Porphyridium are not clearly understood. In this study, Porphyridium cruentum CCALA 415 was cultured in nitrogen-replete and nitrogen-limited conditions. Fatty acid content determination, transcriptomic, and lipidomic analyses were used to investigate the synthesis of ARA and EPA. The results show that membrane lipids were the main components of lipids, while storage lipids were present in a small proportion in CCALA 415. Nitrogen limitation enhanced the synthesis of storage lipids and ω6 fatty acids while inhibiting the synthesis of membrane lipids and ω3 fatty acids. A total of 217 glycerolipid molecular species were identified, and the most abundant species included monogalactosyldiglyceride (C16:0/C20:5) (MGDG) and phosphatidylcholine (C16:0/C20:4) (PC). ARA was mainly distributed in PC, and EPA was mainly distributed in MGDG. Among all the fatty acid desaturases (FADs), the expressions of Δ5FAD, Δ6FAD, Δ9FAD, and Δ12FAD were up-regulated, whereas those of Δ15FAD and Δ17FAD were down-regulated. Based on these results, only a small proportion of EPA was synthesized through the ω3 pathway, while the majority of EPA was synthesized through the ω6 pathway. ARA synthesized in the ER was likely shuttled into the chloroplast by DAG and was converted into EPA by Δ17FAD.

PMID:38393053 | PMC:PMC10890038 | DOI:10.3390/md22020082