Peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation disorders and 58 kDa sterol carrier protein X (SCPx). Activity measurements in liver and fibroblasts using a newly developed method

J Lipid Res. 2000 Mar;41(3):336-42.


Sterol carrier protein X (SCPx) plays a crucial role in the peroxisomal oxidation of branched-chain fatty acids. To investigate whether patients with an unresolved defect in peroxisomal beta-oxidation are deficient for SCPx, we developed a novel and specific assay to measure the activity of SCPx in both liver and fibroblast homogenates. The substrate used in the assay, 3alpha, 7alpha,12alpha-trihydroxy-24-keto-5beta-cholestanoy l-CoA (24-keto-THC-CoA), is produced by preincubating the enoyl-CoA of the bile acid intermediate THCA with a lysate from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing human D-bifunctional protein. After the preincubation period, liver or fibroblast homogenate is added plus CoASH, and the production of choloyl-CoA is determined by HPLC. The specificity of the assay was demonstrated by the finding of a full deficiency in fibroblasts from an SCPx knock-out mouse. In addition to SCPx activity measurements in fibroblasts from patients with a defect in peroxisomal beta-oxidation of unresolved etiology, we studied the stability and activity of SCPx in fibroblasts from patients with Zellweger syndrome, which lack functional peroxisomes. We found that SCPx is not only stable in the cytosol, but displays a higher activity in fibroblasts from patients with Zellweger syndrome than in control fibroblasts. Furthermore, in all patients studied with a defect in peroxisomal beta-oxidation of unknown origin, SCPx was found to be normally active, indicating that human SCPx deficiency remains to be identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxisomes / enzymology
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Zellweger Syndrome / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • sterol carrier proteins
  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acetyltransferase