One paradox of the trophic biochemistry of the deep sea giant tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, endemic to hydrothermal vent sites and nourished by polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) deficiency chemolitoautotrophic sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, is the source of their PUFAs. Biosynthesis of PUFA starts with two precursors C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3, which cannot be biosynthesized by most animals due to lack of ω6- and ω3-desaturase; thus, C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3 are generally essential fatty acids for animals. Here, we characterized a gene derived from the R. pachyptila located by hydrothermal vent, which encoded a novel ω3-desaturase (Rp3Fad). The gene was identified by searching the R. pachyptila transcriptome database using known ω3-desaturases, and its predicted protein showed 37–45% identical to ω3-desaturases of fungus and microalgae, and only 31% identitical to nematode Caenorhabditis elegans ω3-desaturase. Expression in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed that the Rp3Fad could desaturate C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-6 into C18:3n-3 and C18:4n-3, respectively, displaying a Δ15 activity similar to plant ω3-desaturase, but it showed no activity towards C20 n-6 PUFA substrates, differing from the well-characterized C. elegans ω3-desaturases. Δ5, Δ6, Δ8, and Δ12 activity were also tested, resulting in no corresponding production. The function of ω3-desaturase identified in R. pachyptila could produce C18:3n − 3 used in synthesis of n − 3 series PUFAs, suggesting an adaption to PUFA deficiency environment in deep sea hydrothermal vent.
Marine Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: May 10, 2017
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