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J Lipid Res. 2007 Jul;48(7):1457-62. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Identification and quantification of dolichol and dolichoic acid in neuromelanin from substantia nigra of the human brain.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.


Neuromelanin (NM) isolated from the substantia nigra of the human brain is found to contain a series of dolichoic acids (dol-CA) containing 14-20 isoprene units. This is the first observation of dol-CA in a natural system. Using internally spiked nor-dolichol and nor-dolichoic acid standards, the concentrations of dolichol (dol) and dol-CA present in NM were determined. Remarkably, dol was only four times as abundant as dol-CA in NM. The distribution of dol-CA chains lengths in NM also differed from that of dol, suggesting that the enzyme(s) responsible for the conversion of dol to dol-CA prefer a dolichol substrate containing 19 isoprene units.

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