Identification and quantification of dolichol and dolichoic acid in neuromelanin from substantia nigra of the human brain

J Lipid Res. 2007 Jul;48(7):1457-62. doi: 10.1194/jlr.C700008-JLR200. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Neuromelanin (NM) isolated from the substantia nigra of the human brain is found to contain a series of dolichoic acids (dol-CA) containing 14-20 isoprene units. This is the first observation of dol-CA in a natural system. Using internally spiked nor-dolichol and nor-dolichoic acid standards, the concentrations of dolichol (dol) and dol-CA present in NM were determined. Remarkably, dol was only four times as abundant as dol-CA in NM. The distribution of dol-CA chains lengths in NM also differed from that of dol, suggesting that the enzyme(s) responsible for the conversion of dol to dol-CA prefer a dolichol substrate containing 19 isoprene units.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dolichols / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Melanins / chemistry*
  • Substantia Nigra / chemistry*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Terpenes / analysis*


  • Dolichols
  • Melanins
  • Terpenes
  • dolichoic acid
  • neuromelanin