Structures and biological activities of novel phosphatidylethanolamine lipids of Porphyromonas gingivalis

Frank C. Nichols, Birgit Riep, Jiyoung Mun, Martha D. Morton, Toshihisa Kawai, Floyd E. Dewhirst, Michael B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Gram-negative periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis synthesizes several classes of novel phosphorylated complex lipids, including the recently characterized phosphorylated dihydroceramides. These sphingolipids promote the interleukin-1 (IL-1)-mediated secretion of inflammatory mediators from fibroblasts, including prostaglandin E2 and 6-keto prostaglandin F, and alter gingival fibroblast morphology in culture. This report demonstrates that one additional class of phosphorylated complex lipids of P. gingivalis promotes IL-1-mediated secretory responses and morphological changes in cultured fibroblasts. Structural characterization identified the new phospholipid class as 1,2-diacyl phosphatidylethanolamine, which substituted predominantly with isobranched C15:0 and C13:0 fatty acids. The isobranched fatty acids, rather than unbranched fatty acids, and the phosphoethanolamine head group were identified as the essential structural elements required for the promotion of IL-1-mediated secretory responses. These structural components are also observed in specific phosphorylated sphingolipids of P. gingivalis and likely contribute to the biological activity of these substances, in addition to the phosphatidylethanolamine lipids described in this report.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-853
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrospray tandem mass spectrometry
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Gingival fibroblast
  • Interleukin-1β
  • Long-chain base
  • Prostaglandin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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