Sphingolipid and Phospholipid Levels Are Altered in Human Brain in Chorea-Acanthocytosis

Mov Disord. 2023 Aug;38(8):1535-1541. doi: 10.1002/mds.29445. Epub 2023 Jun 12.


Background: Chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc) is associated with mutations of VPS13A, which encodes for chorein, a protein implicated in lipid transport at intracellular membrane contact sites.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to establish the lipidomic profile of patients with ChAc.

Methods: We analyzed 593 lipid species in the caudate nucleus (CN), putamen, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) from postmortem tissues of four patients with ChAc and six patients without ChAc.

Results: We found increased levels of bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate, sulfatide, lysophosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylcholine ether in the CN and putamen, but not in the DLPFC, of patients with ChAc. Phosphatidylserine and monoacylglycerol were increased in the CN and N-acyl phosphatidylserine in the putamen. N-acyl serine was decreased in the CN and DLPFC, whereas lysophosphatidylinositol was decreased in the DLPFC.

Conclusions: We present the first evidence of altered sphingolipid and phospholipid levels in the brains of patients with ChAc. Our observations are congruent with recent findings in cellular and animal models, and implicate defects of lipid processing in VPS13A disease pathophysiology. © 2023 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

Keywords: VPS13A; brain; chorea-acanthocytosis; phospholipids; sphingolipids.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuroacanthocytosis* / genetics
  • Neuroacanthocytosis* / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / genetics


  • Phospholipids
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins