Modulation of phospholipase D-mediated phosphatidylglycerol formation by differentiating agents in primary mouse epidermal keratinocytes

Xiangjian Zheng, Sagarika Ray, Wendy B. Bollag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The major component of the epidermis, keratinocytes, must continuously proliferate and differentiate to form the mechanical and water permeability barrier of the skin. Our previous data have suggested a potential role in these processes for phospholipase D (PLD), an enzyme that hydrolyzes phospholipids to generate phosphatidic acid. In the presence of primary alcohols, PLD also catalyzes a transphosphatidylation reaction to produce phosphatidylalcohols, and this characteristic has been exploited to monitor the activity of PLD in intact cells. In this report, PLD was demonstrated to utilize the physiological alcohol glycerol to form phosphatidylglycerol (PG) in vitro. In intact primary murine epidermal keratinocytes treated for 24 h with elevated extracellular Ca2+ levels, but not 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, incubation with radioactive glycerol resulted in an increase in PLD-mediated radiolabeled PG production. This effect was dose-dependent and biphasic, with maximal PG formation detected after exposure to an intermediate (125 μM) Ca 2+ concentration. Furthermore, the biphasic nature of the response was due, in part, to a corresponding biphasic change in glycerol uptake. Finally, short-term treatment of keratinocytes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) failed to increase PG synthesis and inhibited glycerol uptake. Since (1) PMA is reported to activate PLD-1 to a greater extent than PLD-2, (2) 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 increases the expression/activity of PLD-1 in keratinocytes, and (3) PLD-2 is co-localized with a glycerol channel in keratinocyte membrane microdomains, we speculate that radiolabeled PG production from radioactive glycerol is a measure of PLD-2 activation in these cells. Our results also suggest that PLD-mediated PG synthesis may be regulated at the level of both PLD activity and alcohol substrate availability via changes in glycerol uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 7 2003


  • Aquaporin-3
  • Glycerol
  • Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)
  • Phospholipase D-2 (PLD-2)
  • Transphosphatidylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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