Different Impacts of Short-Chain Fatty Acids on Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Biosynthesis in Aurantiochytrium sp. SD116

Aurantiochytrium is an important docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) producer containing two kinds of fatty acid synthesis pathways, that is, the fatty acid synthase pathway (FAS) for saturated fatty acid synthesis and the polyketide synthase pathway (PKS) for polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis. To understand the regulation mechanism between the two pathways, the impacts of six short-chain fatty acids on the fatty acid synthesis of Aurantiochytrium sp. SD116 were studied. All short-chain fatty acids showed little effect on the cell growth, but some of them significantly affected lipid accumulation and fatty acid composition. Pentanoic acid and isovaleric acid greatly inhibited the synthesis of saturated fatty acids, whereas the polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis was not affected. Analysis of malic enzyme activity, which supplied NADPH for saturated fatty acids biosynthesis, indicated that the two fatty acid synthesis pathways can utilize different substrates and possess independent sources of NADPH.