The red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla is a well-known producer of prostaglandins, such as PGE2 and PGF2α. In this study, the characteristics of glycerolipids as substrates of prostaglandin production were clarified, and the lipid classes, fatty acid composition, and glycerolipid molecular species were investigated in detail. The major lipid classes were monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG), as well as phosphatidylcholine (PC), which accounted for 43.0% of the total lipid profile. Arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), a prostaglandin precursor, and palmitic acid (16:0) were the predominant fatty acids in the total lipid profile. The 20:4n-6 content was significantly high in MGDG and PC (more than 60%), and the 16:0 content was significantly high in DGDG and SQDG (more than 50%). Chiral-phase high-performance liquid chromatography determined that fatty acids were esterified at the sn-1 and sn-2 positions of those lipids. The main glycerolipid molecular species were 20:4n-6/20:4n-6 (sn-1/sn-2) for MGDG (56.5%) and PC (40.0%), and 20:4n-6/16:0 for DGDG (75.4%) and SQDG (58.4%). Thus, it was considered that the glycerolipid molecular species containing one or two 20:4n-6 were the major substrates for prostaglandin production in G. vermiculophylla.
2016 by Japan Oil Chemists' Society