The sulfolipid sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol is an abundant sulfur-containing nonphosphorous glycerolipid that is specifically associated with photosynthetic membranes of higher plants, mosses, ferns, algae, and most photosynthetic bacteria. The characteristic structural feature of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol is the unique head group constituent sulfoquinovose, a derivative of glucose in which the 6-hydroxyl is replaced by a sulfonate group. While there is growing evidence for the final assembly of the sulfolipid by the transfer of the sulfoquinovosyl moiety from UDP-sulfoquinovose to the -3 position of diacylglycerol, very little is known about the biosynthesis of the precursor UDP-sulfoquinovose. Recently, a number of mutants deficient in sulfolipid biosynthesis and the corresponding genes have become available from different organisms. These provide novel tools to analyze sulfolipid biosynthesis by a combination of molecular and biochemical approaches. Furthermore, the analysis of sulfolipid-deficient mutants has provided novel insights into the function of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol in photosynthetic membranes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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