Novel complex polar lipids from the methanogenic archaebacterium Methanospirillum hungatei

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Science  13 Mar 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4487, pp. 1163-1164
DOI: 10.1126/science.7466385


The methanogenic archaebacterium Methanospirillum hungatei contains two unusual phosphoglycolipids that account for 64 percent of the total cellular lipids. These lipids are derivatives of the dibiphytanyl diglycerol tetraether, previously identified in methanogens. One of the free hydroxyls of this tetraether is esterified with glycerophosphoric acid, and the other is linked glycosidically to a disaccharide. The two phosphoglycolipids may function as covalently bonded lipid bilayers to impart stability and rigidity to methanogen membranes.