A novel function of the human CLS1 in phosphatidylglycerol synthesis and remodeling

Jia Nie, Xinbao Hao, Daohong Chen, Xiao Han, Zhijie Chang, Yuguang Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Phosphatidylglycerol (PG) is a precursor for the biosynthesis of cardiolipin and a signaling molecule required for various cellular functions. PG is subjected to remodeling subsequent to its de novo biosynthesis in mitochondria to incorporate appropriate acyl content for its biological functions and to prevent the harmful effect of lysophosphatidylglycerol (LPG) accumulation. Yet, a gene encoding a mitochondrial LPG acyltransferase has not been identified. In this report, we identified a novel function of the human cardiolipin synthase (hCLS1) in regulating PG remodeling. In addition to the reported cardiolipin synthase activity, the recombinant hCLS1 protein expressed in COS-7 cells and Sf-9 insect cells exhibited a strong acyl-CoA-dependent LPG acyltransferase activity, which was further confirmed by purified hCLS1 protein overexpressed in Sf-9 cells. The recombinant hCLS1 displayed an acyl selectivity profile in the order of in the order of C18:1 > C18:2 > C18:0 > C16:0, which is similar to that of hCLS1 toward PGs in cardiolipin synthesis, suggesting that the PG remodeling by hCLS1 is an intrinsic property of the enzyme. In contrast, no significant acyltransferase activity was detected from the recombinant hCLS1 enzyme toward lysocardiolipin which shares a similar structure with LPG. In support of a key function of hCLS1 in PG remodeling, overexpression of hCLS1 in COS-7 cells significantly increased PG biosynthesis concurrent with elevated levels of cardiolipin without any significant effects on the biosynthesis of other phospholipids. These results demonstrate for the first time that hCLS1 catalyzes two consecutive steps in cardiolipin biosynthesis by acylating LPG to PG and then converting PG to cardiolipin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acyltransferase
  • Cardiolipin
  • Lysocardiolipin
  • Lysophosphatidylglycerol
  • Synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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