Characterization of the human omega-oxidation pathway for omega-hydroxy-very-long-chain fatty acids

Robert-Jan Sanders, Rob Ofman, Georges Dacremont, Ronald J. A. Wanders, Stephan Kemp

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) have long been known to be degraded exclusively in peroxisomes via beta-oxidation. A defect in peroxisomal beta-oxidation results in elevated levels of VLCFAs and is associated with the most frequent inherited disorder of the central nervous system white matter, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Recently, we demonstrated that VLCFAs can also undergo omega-oxidation, which may provide an alternative route for the breakdown of VLCFAs. The omega-oxidation of VLCFA is initiated by CYP4F2 and CYP4F3B, which produce omega-hydroxy-VLCFAs. In this article, we characterized the enzymes involved in the formation of very-long-chain dicarboxylic acids from omega-hydroxy-VLCFAs. We demonstrate that very-long-chain dicarboxylic acids are produced via two independent pathways. The first is mediated by an as yet unidentified, microsomal NAD(+)-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase and fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase, which is encoded by the ALDH3A2 gene and is deficient in patients with Sjögren-Larsson syndrome. The second pathway involves the NADPH-dependent hydroxylation of omega-hydroxy-VLCFAs by CYP4F2, CYP4F3B, or CYP4F3A. Enzyme kinetic studies show that oxidation of omega-hydroxy-VLCFAs occurs predominantly via the NAD(+)-dependent route. Overall, our data demonstrate that in humans all enzymes are present for the complete conversion of VLCFAs to their corresponding very-long-chain dicarboxylic acids
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2071
JournalFASEB journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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