2014 Volume 63 Issue 3 Pages 281-289
Fatty acids are fundamental cellular components, and provide essential building blocks for membrane biosynthesis. Although the use of gene knockout mutants is a robust method for examining the function of specific cellular metabolic networks, fatty acid synthase knockout mutants are extremely difficult to isolate. In the Dictyostelium discoideum genome, we found two putative fatty acid synthase genes, and we created a knockout mutant for one of them to examine the physiological consequences. In this study, we found that a continuous fatty acid supply was necessary for normal development, and the fatty acid synthase knockout mutant showed severe developmental delay. This developmental defect was corrected in chimeras composed of wild type cells and knockout mutant cells (3:7, respectively). The knockout mutant also showed aberrant expression of fatty acid biosynthesis genes. These results showed that D. discoideum needs correct fatty acid synthesis for normal development.