Cell growth with trans fatty acids is affected by adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate and membrane fluidity

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Science  15 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4432, pp. 777-779
DOI: 10.1126/science.6243419


Two positional isomers (9 and 11) of trans octadecenoates did not support growth on glucose of an Escherichia coli mutant that requires unsaturated fatty acids. However, the trans fatty acids provided sufficient fluidity to produce much higher cell yields when the concentration of adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate was raised. The effectiveness of the trans acids rose from 0 to 1 cell per femtomole to 15 to 20 cells per femtomole as the concentration of adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate was increased. The corresponding cis positional isomers supported high yields (35 to 40 cells per femtomole) independent of supplementation. The enhanced growth with adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate supplementation is not due to an increased uptake and incorporation of the trans isomers relative to the cis isomers, since the 9-trans isomer was incorporated more rapidly than the 9-cis isomer into the membrane phospholipids under all growth conditions and represented 21 +/- 2 mole percent of the acids. The finding that cells growing with trans fatty acid isomers have a higher requirement for adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate may indicate that some fatty acids can alter the metabolic regulation normally exerted by the cyclic nucleotide.