Monroig O, Navarro JC, Dick JR, Alemany F & Tocher DR (2012) Identification of a delta5-like fatty acyl desaturase from the cephalopod Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier 1797) involved in the biosynthesis of essential fatty acids. Marine Biotechnology, 14 (4), pp. 411-422. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10126-011-9423-2
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) have been identified as essential compounds for common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), but precise dietary requirements have not been determined due in part to the inherent difficulties of performing feeding trials on paralarvae. Our objective is to establish the essential fatty acid (EFA) requirements for paralarval stages of the common octopus through characterisation of the enzymes of endogenous LC-PUFA biosynthetic pathways. In this study we isolated a cDNA with high homology to fatty acyl desaturases (Fad). Functional characterisation in recombinant yeast showed the octopus Fad exhibited ∆5 desaturation activity towards saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acyl substrates. Thus, it efficiently converted the yeast’s endogenous 16:0 and 18:0 to 16:1n-11 and 18:1n-13, respectively, and desaturated exogenously added PUFA substrates, 20:4n-3 and 20:3n-6, to 20:5n-3 (EPA) and 20:4n-6 (ARA), respectively. Although the ∆5 Fad enables common octopus to produce EPA and ARA, the low availability of its adequate substrates 20:4n-3 and 20:3n-6, either in the diet or by limited endogenous synthesis from C18 PUFA, might indicate that EPA and ARA are indeed EFA for this species. Interestingly, the octopus ∆5 Fad can also participate in the biosynthesis of non-methylene interrupted FA, PUFA that are generally uncommon in vertebrates but that have been found previously in marine invertebrates including molluscs, and now also confirmed to be present in specific tissues of common octopus.
Biosynthesis; ∆5 fatty acyl desaturase; essential fatty acids; non-methylene interrupted fatty acid; Octopus vulgaris; unsaturated fatty acids.
Marine Biotechnology: Volume 14, Issue 4