The remodeling of the fatty acyl moieties of phosphatidylcholine (PC) has been studied in choline-deficient and choline-supplemented hepatocytes prepared from a choline-deficient rat. Choline-deficient hepatocytes were pre-labeled with [Me-3H]choline for 30 min and subsequently incubated for up to 12 h in the presence or absence of choline. Analysis of the molecular species of PC from choline-deficient cells showed that, at the end of the pulse, approx. 75% of the label was incorporated into palmitate-containing species and only approx. 16% of the labeled species contined stearate. During the chase period there was a redistribution of label and after 12 h approx. 56% of the total radioactivity was associated with palmitate containing species and 37% was recovered in stearate-containing species. A similar distribution of radioactivity was observed in choline-supplemented cells. Measurement of the specific radioactivity of the major molecular species of PC was consistent with a precursor-product relationship between palmitate-containing species and stearate-containing species with arachidonate or linoleate on the sn-2 position. A model is presented which takes into account remodeling of both the sn-1 and sn-2 positions of PC. © 1991.
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