Acyl-CoA:2-acyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (GPC) acyltransferase is required for the maintenance of the asymmetric distribution of saturated fatty acids at the C-1 position of phosphatidylcholine; however, this activity has been reported to be absent in cardiac tissue. In the present study a very active acyl-CoA:2-acyl-GPC activity was detected and characterized in guinea-pig heart microsomes (microsomal fractions); the mitochondria did not appear to possess this activity. The acyl-CoA specificity of the microsomal acyl-CoA:2-acyl-GPC acyltransferase was distinct from the corresponding acyl-CoA:1-acyl-GPC acyltransferase. These differences were due to the position of the fatty acid on the lysophospholipid rather than the composition of the fatty acids. The enzyme did not exhibit a distinct preference for saturated fatty acids, as might be expected. Our results suggest that, in the heart, control of the intracellular composition and concentration of acyl-CoAs by acyl-CoA hydrolase and acyl-CoA synthetase may play an important role in maintaining the asymmetric distribution of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine.

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