Adrenoleukodystrophy: impaired oxidation of fatty acids due to peroxisomal lignoceroyl-CoA ligase deficiency

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1989 May 1;270(2):722-8. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(89)90555-9.


Very long chain fatty acids (lignoceric acid) are oxidized in peroxisomes and pathognomonic amounts of these fatty acids accumulate in X-adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) due to a defect in their oxidation. However, in cellular homogenates from X-ALD cells, lignoceric acid is oxidized at a rate of 38% of control cells. Therefore, to identify the source of this residual activity we raised antibody to palmitoyl-CoA ligase and examined its effect on the activation and oxidation of palmitic and lignoceric acids in isolated peroxisomes from control and X-ALD fibroblasts. The normalization of peroxisomal lignoceric acid oxidation in the presence of exogenously added acyl-CoA ligases and along with the complete inhibition of activation and oxidation of palmitic and lignoceric acids in peroxisomes from X-ALD by antibody to palmitoyl-CoA ligase provides direct evidence that lignoceroyl-CoA ligase is deficient in X-ALD and demonstrates that the residual activity for the oxidation of lignoceric acid was derived from the activation of lignoceric acid by peroxisomal palmitoyl-CoA ligase. This antibody inhibited the activation and oxidation of palmitic acid but had little effect on these activities for lignoceric acid in peroxisomes from control cells. Furthermore, these data provide evidence that peroxisomal palmitoyl-CoA and lignoceroyl-CoA ligases are two different enzymes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / enzymology
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / deficiency*
  • Diffuse Cerebral Sclerosis of Schilder / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Microbodies / enzymology*
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Palmitic Acids / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Skin / enzymology


  • Fatty Acids
  • Palmitic Acids
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Coenzyme A Ligases
  • lignoceroyl-CoA ligase
  • lignoceric acid