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J Biol Chem. 1998 Jun 19;273(25):15639-45.

Steatohepatitis, spontaneous peroxisome proliferation and liver tumors in mice lacking peroxisomal fatty acyl-CoA oxidase. Implications for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha natural ligand metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008, USA.


Peroxisomal beta-oxidation system consists of four consecutive reactions to preferentially metabolize very long chain fatty acids. The first step of this system, catalyzed by acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX), converts fatty acyl-CoA to 2-trans-enoyl-CoA. Herein, we show that mice deficient in AOX exhibit steatohepatitis, increased hepatic H2O2 levels, and hepatocellular regeneration, leading to a complete reversal of fatty change by 6 to 8 months of age. The liver of AOX-/- mice with regenerated hepatocytes displays profound generalized spontaneous peroxisome proliferation and increased mRNA levels of genes that are regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha). Hepatic adenomas and carcinomas develop in AOX-/- mice by 15 months of age due to sustained activation of PPARalpha. These observations implicate acyl-CoA and other putative substrates for AOX, as biological ligands for PPARalpha; thus, a normal AOX gene is indispensable for the physiological regulation of PPARalpha.

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