Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Lipid Res. 2001 Apr;42(4):501-8.

Identification of a fatty acid delta6-desaturase deficiency in human skin fibroblasts.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) utilization was investigated in skin fibroblasts cultured from a female patient with an inherited abnormality in lipid metabolism. These deficient human skin fibroblasts (DF) converted 85;-95% less [1-14C]linoleic acid (18:2n-6) to arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), 95% less [3-14C]tetracosatetraenoic acid (24:4n-6) to docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-6), and 95% less [1-14C]-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) and [3-14C]tetracosapentaenoic acid (24:5n-3) to docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) than did normal human skin fibroblasts (NF). The only product formed by the DF cultures from [1-14C]tetradecadienoic acid (14:2n-6) was 18:2n-6. However, they produced 50;-90% as much 20:4n-6 as the NF cultures from [1-14C]hexadecatrienoic acid (16:3n-6), [1-14C]gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6), and [1-14C]dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (20:3n-6), PUFA substrates that contain Delta6 double bonds. DF also contained 80% more 18:2n-6 and 25% less 20:4n-6. These results suggested that DF are deficient in Delta6 desaturation. This was confirmed by Northern blots demonstrating an 81;-94% decrease in Delta6-desaturase mRNA content in the DF cultures, whereas the Delta5-desaturase mRNA content was reduced by only 14%. This is the first inherited abnormality in human PUFA metabolism shown to be associated with a Delta6-desaturase deficiency. Furthermore, the finding that the 18- and 24-carbon substrates are equally affected suggests that a single enzyme carries out both Delta6 desaturation reactions in human PUFA metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center