Rare Diseases Symptoms Automatic Extraction

Fast diffusion of very long chain saturated fatty acids across a bilayer membrane and their rapid extraction by cyclodextrins: implications for adrenoleukodystrophy.


Abnormalities in the transport of saturated very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA; >C18:0) contribute to their toxic levels in peroxisomal disorders of fatty acid metabolism, such as adrenoleukodystrophy and adrenomyeloneuropathy. We previously showed that VLCFA desorb much slower than normal dietary fatty acids from both albumin and protein-free lipid bilayers. The important step of transbilayer movement (flip-flop) was not measured directly as a consequence of this very slow desorption from donors, and the extremely low aqueous solubility of VLCFA precludes addition of unbound VLCFA to lipid membranes. We have overcome these limitations using methyl-beta-cyclodextrin to solubilize VLCFA for rapid delivery to "acceptor" phosphatidylcholine vesicles (small and large unilamellar) and to cells. VLCFA binding was monitored in real time with the fluorescent probe fluorescein-labeled phosphatidylethanolamine in the outer membrane leaflet, and entrapped pyranine was used to detect flip-flop across the membrane. The upper limit of the rate of flip-flop across the membrane was independent of temperature and media viscosity and was similar for model raft and non-raft membranes as well as living cells. We further showed that cyclodextrins can extract VLCFA rapidly (within seconds) from vesicles and cells, which have implications for the mechanism and potential alternative approaches to treat adrenoleukodystrophy. Because VLCFA diffuse through the lipid bilayer, proteins may not be required for their transport across the peroxisomal membrane.