Submitted to: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 3, 2007
Publication Date: April 5, 2008
Citation: Hou, C.T. 2008. New bioactive fatty acids. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 17:192-195. Interpretive Summary: We have been working on the production of oxygenated fatty acids from surplus soybean oil by microbial transformation. These new products are mono hydroxyl-, dihydroxy-, and trihydroxy fatty acids. We also identified many new products from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids through biotransformation. Many of these products showed physiological activity such as anti-bacterial and anti-plant pathogenic fungal activities. These new bioactive fatty acids might be used in improving human health and increasing crop yields. Success in identifying and producing new bioactive fatty acids can benefit both U.S. farmers and the public.
Technical Abstract: Many oxygenated fatty acids are bioactive compounds. Nocardia cholesterolicum and Flavobacterium DS5 convert oleic acid to 10 hydroxy stearic acid and linoleic acid to 10-hydroxy-12(Z)-octadecanoic acid. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PR3 converts oleic acid to the new compounds, 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) through 10-hydroxy-8-octadecenoic acid, and racinoleic acid to 7,10,12-trihydroxy-8-octadecenoic acid. DOD showed antibacterial activity including against food-borne pathogens. Bacillus megaterium ALA2 converted n-6 and n-3 PUFAs to many new oxygenated fatty acids. For example: linoleic acid was converted to12,13-epoxy-9-octadecenoic acid and then to 12,13-dihydroxy-9-octadecenoic acid (12,13-DHOA). From here, there are two bioconversion pathways. The major pathway is: 12,13-DHOA --> 12,13,17-trihydroxy-9(S)-octadecenoic acid (THOA) --> 12,17;13,17-diepoxy-16-hydroxy-9(Z)-octadecenoic acid (DEOA) --> 7-hydroxy-DEOA. The minor pathway is: 12,13-DHOA --> 12,13,16-THOA --> 12-hydroxy-13,16-epoxy-9(Z)-octadecenoic acid. 12,13,17-THOA has anti-plant pathogenic fungal activity. The tetrahydrofuranyl moiety is known in anti cancer drugs. Strain ALA2 also converts other n-3 and n-6 PUFAs such as EPA, DHA and AA to many new oxygenated unsaturated fatty acid products. All of these new products have high potential for antimicrobial agents or biomedical applications. We also screened 12 Mortierella fungal strains from the ARS Culture Collection for the production of bioactive fatty acids such as dihomo-gama-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid. All of the strains tested produced AA and DGLA from glucose or glycerol. The top five AA producers (mg AA/g CDW) were in the following order: M. alpina > M. zychae > M. hygrophila > M. minutissima > M. parvispora. Both AA and DGLA are important natural precursors of a large family of prostaglandin and thromboxane groups.