Mycoplasma strain Y, serologically and biochemically related to grew well in a medium containing unesterified fatty acids, cholesterol and some samples of fatty acid-poor bovine serum albumin. With other samples of serum albumin, growth was accompanied by cellular lysis. Heating albumin solutions, treating them with charcoal, or varying the ratio of fatty acids to albumin, the concentration of cholesterol, or the order in which the lipid components were added to the medium, all influenced the amount of lysis. These effects may be due to varying interaction between fatty acids and cholesterol and between fatty acids and albumin. When fatty acids are firmly bound to albumin, their interaction with cholesterol is prevented, resulting in a cholesterol deficiency. Lysis was prevented by the addition of a heat-stable defatted serum protein fraction (fraction C), or a pronase digest of fraction C, both of which dispersed cholesterol.


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