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Vet Res Commun. 1991;15(2):85-94.

Bovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis (Batten's disease): the major component stored is the DCCD-reactive proteolipid, subunit C, of mitochondrial ATP synthase.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology and Public Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


The ceroid-lipofuscinoses (Batten's disease) are a group of recessively inherited lysosomal storage diseases of children and animals in which there is intracellular accumulation of a fluorescent lipopigment in a wide variety of cells. Lipopigment bodies isolated from pancreas, liver, kidney and brain tissue from a heifer affected with ceroid-lipofuscinosis contained between 55 and 62% protein. A dominant component comigrated on LDS-PAGE with the major low molecular weight protein stored in ovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis. It was identified by amino acid sequence and mass spectroscopy as the full subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase, normally found only in the inner mitochondrial membrane, where it is estimated to account for 2-4% of the membrane protein. In pancreatic lipopigment it accounted for at least 40% of the total lipopigment mass and this storage was considered specific to the disease. No other mitochondrial proteins were found in storage bodies. These results are similar to those found in studies on the ovine and the late infantile and juvenile human forms of the disease. It is concluded that bovine ceroid-lipofuscinosis is also a proteolipid proteinosis in which subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase is specifically stored in lysosome derived organelles.

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