Do mammalian cells synthesize lipoic acid? Identification of a mouse cDNA encoding a lipoic acid synthase located in mitochondria

FEBS Lett. 2001 Jun 1;498(1):16-21. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02469-3.


Lipoic acid is a coenzyme essential to the activity of enzymes such as pyruvate dehydrogenase, which play important roles in central metabolism. However, neither the enzymes responsible for biosynthesis nor the biosynthetic event of lipoic acid has been reported in mammalian cells. In this study, a mouse mLIP1 cDNA for lipoic acid synthase has been identified. We have shown that the cDNA encodes a lipoic acid synthase by its ability to complement a mutant of Escherichia coli defective in lipoic acid synthase and that mLIP1 is targeted into the mitochondria. These findings suggest that mammalian cells are able to synthesize lipoic acid in mitochondria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA, Complementary / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sulfurtransferases / genetics*
  • Sulfurtransferases / metabolism
  • Thioctic Acid / biosynthesis*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • LipA protein, Bacteria
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Sulfurtransferases
  • lipoic acid synthase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB057731