Occurrence of a bacterial membrane microdomain at the cell division site enriched in phospholipids with polyunsaturated hydrocarbon chains.
In this study, we found that phospholipids containing an eicosapentaenyl group form a novel membrane microdomain at the cell division site of a Gram-negative bacterium, Shewanella livingstonensis Ac10, using chemically synthesized fluorescent probes. The occurrence of membrane microdomains in eukaryotes and prokaryotes has been demonstrated with various imaging tools for phospholipids with different polar headgroups. However, few studies have focused on the hydrocarbon chain-dependent localization of membrane-resident phospholipids in vivo. We previously found that lack of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid found at the sn-2 position of glycerophospholipids, causes a defect in cell division after DNA replication of S. livingstonensis Ac10. Here, we synthesized phospholipid probes labeled with a fluorescent 7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl (NBD) group to study the localization of EPA-containing phospholipids by fluorescence microscopy. A fluorescent probe in which EPA was bound to the glycerol backbone via an ester bond was found to be unsuitable for imaging because EPA was released from the probe by in vivo hydrolysis. To overcome this problem, we synthesized hydrolysis-resistant ether-type phospholipid probes. Using these probes, we found that the fluorescence localized between two nucleoids at the cell center during cell division when the cells were grown in the presence of the eicosapentaenyl group-containing probe (N-NBD-1-oleoyl-2-eicosapentaenyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine), whereas this localization was not observed with the oleyl group-containing control probe (N-NBD-1-oleoyl-2-oleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine). Thus, phospholipids containing an eicosapentaenyl group are specifically enriched at the cell division site. Formation of a membrane microdomain enriched in EPA-containing phospholipids at the nucleoid occlusion site probably facilitates cell division.