Lytechinus pictus eggs were fertilized and incubated at 10, 16, and 23°C until the early blastula stage of embryonic development. The phospholipid composition of the embryos and control unfertilized eggs remain identical and unchanged as incubating temperatures are varied; thus, neither incubating temperature, fertilization nor membrane assembly affect their total phospholipid composition. This result agrees with metabolic studies by others, using only a single incubation temperature, and indicates that embryonic development to the early blastula stage occurs with little, if any, de novo phospholipid biosynthesis. However, as in all poikilotherms, the phospholipid composition of the nascent plasma membranes varies with the incubation temperature. Thus, until the blastula stage of embryonic development, the lipids of these newly formed plasma membranes are derived from lipid pools within the embryo whose phospholipid composition is static. The variation of plasma membrane composition is primarily reflected in an increase in the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE): phosphatidylcholine (PC) ratio as incubating temperatures decrease; this is achieved by an exchange of PE for PC. Several mechanisms are considered for the specificity of the selective sorting and assembly of these phospholipids into the nascent plasma membranes.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1999
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