Identification of a soluble phosphatidate phosphohydrolase in the developing cotyledons of Momordica charantia


Phosphatidate phosphatase (EC, PAP, catalyzes the dephosphorylation of phosphatidate (PtdOH) to form diacylglycerol. In eukaryotes, PAP driven reaction is the committed step in the synthesis of triacylglycerol. A Mg2+ independent PAP activity was identified in the soluble extract of Momordica charantia cotyledons undergoing maturation. While the microsomal fraction of the extract gave only 10% of the PAP activity, the remaining 90% of the activity was associated with the soluble fraction. At pH 3.0, the soluble PAP was bound to S column and eluted with glycine-HCl buffer containing high salt. The pH and temperature optima of the PAP activity were 6.0 and 53, respectively. Under optimum assay condition, the Vmax and Km for dioleoyl phosphatidic acid were 1.89 ηkat/mg of protein and 142 μM, respectively. For the synthetic substrate, ρ-nitrophenylphosphate, ρ- NPP, the Vmax and Km were 10.4 ηkat/mg of protein and 107 μM, respectively. The inclusion of Mg2+ and β-mercaptoethanol into the reaction mix did not change the enzyme activity nor did the addition of N-ethylmaleimide and phenylglyoxal, which indicates that cysteine and arginine are not involved in catalysis of PtdOH. The addition of Mg2+ up to 10 mM also did not change the level of PAP activity. Triton X-100, however, inhibited the activity. This is the first documented case of an in vitro PAP activity in the developing cotyledons of Momordica charantia. The PAP described here could serve as a model for lipin-1 or lipin-2 in humans. Mutations in these genes lead to acute myoglobinuria in human infants.

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Ullah, A. and Sethumadhavan, K. (2013) Identification of a soluble phosphatidate phosphohydrolase in the developing cotyledons of Momordica charantia. Advances in Biological Chemistry, 3, 11-17. doi: 10.4236/abc.2013.31002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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