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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Biosynthesis of arsenolipids by the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Ximei Xue, Georg Raber, Simon Foster, Songcan Chen, Kevin Francesconi, Yongguan Zhu


Although methylated arsenic and arsenosugars have been verified in various freshwater organisms, lipid-soluble arsenic compounds have not been identified. Here, we report investigations with the model organism cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 wild type and ΔarsM (arsenic(III) S-adenosylmethionine methyltransferase) mutant strain which lacks the enzymes for arsenic methylation cultured in various concentrations of arsenate (As(V)). Although Synechocystis accumulated higher arsenic concentrations at the higher exposure levels, the bioaccumulation factor decreased with increasing As(V). The accumulated arsenic in the cells was partitioned into water-soluble and lipid-soluble fractions; lipid-soluble arsenic was found in Synechocystis wild type cells (3-35% of the total depending on the level of arsenic exposure), but was not detected in Synechocystis ΔarsM mutant strain showing that ArsM was required for arsenolipid biosynthesis. The arsenolipids present in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 were analyzed with high performance liquid chromatography - inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (HPLC/ICPMS), high performance liquid chromatography - electrospray Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/electrospray MS), and high resolution tandem mass spectrometry. The two major arsenolipids were characterized as arsenosugar phospholipids based on their assigned molecular formulas C47H88O14AsP and C47H90O14AsP, and tandem mass spectrometric data demonstrated the presence of the phosphate arsenosugar and acylated glycerol groups.

EN14069  Accepted 19 May 2014
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