Characterization of CoA-independent transacylase activity in U937 cells

James D. Winkler, Chiu Mei Sung, C. Frank Bennett, Floyd H. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Coenzyme A-independent transacylase (CoA-IT) mediates the transfer of polyunsaturated fatty acids from the sn-2 position of a donor phospholipid to the sn-2 position of an acceptor lyso-phospholipid. We have characterized this activity in U937 cells, a human monocytic cell line. The microsomes of these cells contained CoA-IT activity which demonstrated a fatty acid preference for transferring arachidonic acid into exogenously added 1-alkyl-2-lyso-GPC. This enzymatic activity was optimum between pH 6.5 and 9, was heat labile and displayed an apparent Km for 1-alkyl-2-lyso-GPC of 0.4 μM. This activity was not dependent on Ca2+, Mg2+, CoA or ATP, was not inhibited by 2-mercaptoethanol nor by addition of product, 1-alkyl-2-acyl-GPC. The activity of this enzyme was not altered by differentiation of U937 cells towards the macrophage with Me2SO. Treatment of U937 cells with dexamethasone had no effect on transacylase activity. The activity of this enzyme was decreased by the serine esterase inhibitors phenylmethyl-sulfonyl fluoride and N-tosyl-l-phenylalanine chloromethyl ketone and by the histidine modifier diethyl pyrocarbonate, suggesting that CoA-IT may belong to a family of acyltransferase enzymes typified by LCAT. CoA-IT activity was not affected by compounds that affect PLA2 activity, such as quinacrine, aristolochic acid and arachidonic acid, suggesting a mechanism of action for CoA-IT different from classical, low molecular weight PLA2 enzymes. In conclusion, U937 cells contain CoA-IT activity and this study extends our previous knowledge of this enzyme by demonstrating the differences between CoA-IT and PLA2 enzymes and suggesting similarities between CoA-IT and LCAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkyl phospholipid
  • Arachidonic acid metabolism
  • CoA-independent transacylase
  • Phospholipase A
  • U937 cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of CoA-independent transacylase activity in U937 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this