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Title: Mode of carbon and energy metabolism shifts lipid composition in the thermoacidophile Acidianus
ABSTRACT

The degree of cyclization, or ring index (RI), in archaeal glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids was long thought to reflect homeoviscous adaptation to temperature. However, more recent experiments show that other factors (e.g., pH, growth phase, and energy flux) can also affect membrane composition. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of carbon and energy metabolism on membrane cyclization. To do so, we cultivatedAcidianussp. DS80, a metabolically flexible and thermoacidophilic archaeon, on different electron donor, acceptor, and carbon source combinations (S0/Fe3+/CO2, H2/Fe3+/CO2, H2/S0/CO2, or H2/S0/glucose). We show that differences in energy and carbon metabolism can result in over a full unit of change in RI in the thermoacidophileAcidianussp. DS80. The patterns in RI correlated with the normalized electron transfer rate between the electron donor and acceptor and did not always align with thermodynamic predictions of energy yield. In light of this, we discuss other factors that may affect the kinetics of cellular energy metabolism: electron transfer chain (ETC) efficiency, location of ETC reaction components (cytoplasmicvs.extracellular), and the physical state of electron donors and acceptors (gasvs.solid). Furthermore, the assimilation of a more reduced form of carbon during heterotrophy appears to decrease the demand for reducing equivalents during lipid biosynthesis, resulting in lower RI. Together, these results point to the fundamental role of the cellular energy state in dictating GDGT cyclization, with those cells experiencing greater energy limitation synthesizing more cyclized GDGTs.

IMPORTANCE

Some archaea make unique membrane-spanning lipids with different numbers of five- or six-membered rings in the core structure, which modulate membrane fluidity and permeability. Changes in membrane core lipid composition reflect the fundamental adaptation strategies of archaea in response to stress, but multiple environmental and physiological factors may affect the needs for membrane fluidity and permeability. In this study, we tested howAcidianussp. DS80 changed its core lipid composition when grown with different electron donor/acceptor pairs. We show that changes in energy and carbon metabolisms significantly affected the relative abundance of rings in the core lipids of DS80. These observations highlight the need to better constrain metabolic parameters, in addition to environmental factors, which may influence changes in membrane physiology in Archaea. Such consideration would be particularly important for studying archaeal lipids from habitats that experience frequent environmental fluctuations and/or where metabolically diverse archaea thrive.

 
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Award ID(s):
1928309
NSF-PAR ID:
10490922
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Editor(s):
Spear, John R.
Publisher / Repository:
American Society for Microbiology
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
ISSN:
0099-2240
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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