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J Clin Invest. 1995 Sep;96(3):1455-63.

Interactions of a very long chain fatty acid with model membranes and serum albumin. Implications for the pathogenesis of adrenoleukodystrophy.

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1
Department of Biophysics-CABR 302, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

Abstract

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is an inherited disorder of fatty acid metabolism marked by accumulation of very long chain saturated fatty acids (VLCFA), especially the 26-carbon acid, hexacosanoic acid (HA), in membranes and tissues. We have studied interactions of 13C-enriched HA with model membranes (phospholipid bilayer vesicles) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) by 13C NMR spectroscopy to compare properties of HA with those of typical dietary fatty acids. In phospholipid bilayers the carboxyl group of HA is localized in the aqueous interface, with an apparent pKa (7.4) similar to other fatty acids; the acyl chain must then penetrate very deeply into the membrane. Desorption of HA from vesicles (t1+2 = 3 h) is orders of magnitude slower than shorter chain fatty acids. In mixtures of vesicles and BSA, HA partitions much more favorably to phospholipid bilayers than typical fatty acids. BSA binds a maximum of only 1 mole of HA at one binding site. Calorimetric experiments show strong perturbations of acyl chains of phospholipids by HA. We predict that disruptive effects of VLCFA on cell membrane structure and function may explain the neurological manifestations of ALD patients. These effects will be further amplified by slow desorption of VLCFA from membranes and by the ineffective binding to serum albumin.

PMID:
7657817
PMCID:
PMC185769
DOI:
10.1172/JCI118182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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