Long-Chain Diols: A New Class of Membrane Lipids from a Thermophilic Bacterium

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Science  07 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4742, pp. 1134-1136
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4742.1134


Glycerol-derived membrane lipids are essentially absent in the thermophilic bacterium Thermomicrobium roseum. A series of straight chain and internally methyl-branched 1,2-diols of carbon numbers C18 to C23 were found to replace glycerolipids in this bacterium. Fatty acids were present but were ester-linked to the diols or amide-linked to polar heads groups and not to glycerol. This thermophile has evolved the integration of diols as a novel approach for the construction of its cytoplasmic membrane.