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J Biol Chem. 2013 Dec 13;288(50):35671-82. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.511386. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Identification of a novel lipofuscin pigment (iisoA2E) in retina and its effects in the retinal pigment epithelial cells.

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From the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China and.


Lipofuscin accumulation in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of the eye implicates the etiologies of Stargardt disease and age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Here, we have identified a previously unknown RPE lipofuscin component. By one- and two-dimensional NMR techniques and mass spectrometry, we confirmed that this compound is a new type of pyridinium bisretinoid presenting an unusual structure, in which two polyenic side chains are attached to adjacent carbons of a pyridinium ring. This pigment is a light-induced isomer of isoA2E, rather than A2E, referred to as iisoA2E. This pigment is a fluorescent lipofuscin compound with absorbance maxima at ∼430 and 352 nm detected in human, pig, mouse, and bovine eyes. Formation of iisoA2E was found in reaction mixtures of all-trans-retinal and ethanolamine. Excess intracellular accumulation of this adduct in RPE cells in vitro leads to a significant loss of cell viability and caused membrane damage. Phospholipase D-mediated phosphodiester cleavage of the A2PE series generated isoA2E and iisoA2E, in addition to A2E, thus corroborating the presence of isoA2PE and iisoA2PE that may serve as biosynthetic precursors of isoA2E and iisoA2E.


Aging; Lipofuscin; Phosphatidylethanolamine; Phospholipase D; Pigment; Retina; Retinal Degeneration; Retinoid

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