Because several studies indicated that peroxisomes are important for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids, we wanted to investigate whether a reduced availability of isoprenoids could be one of the pathogenic factors contributing to the severe phenotype of the Pex5 −/− mouse, a model for Zellweger syndrome. Total cholesterol was determined in plasma, brain and liver of newborn mice. In none of these tissues a significant difference was observed between Pex5 −/− and wild type or heterozygous mice. The hepatic ubiquinone content was found to be even higher in Pex5 −/− mice as compared to wild type or heterozygous littermates. To investigate whether the Pex5 −/− fetuses are able to synthesise their own isoprenoids, fibroblasts derived from these mice were incubated with radiolabeled mevalonolactone as a substrate for isoprenoid synthesis. No significant difference was observed between the cholesterol production rates of Pex5 −/− and normal fibroblasts. Our results show that there is no deficiency of isoprenoids in newborn Pex5 −/− mice, excluding the possibility that a lack of these compounds is a determinant factor in the development of the disease state before birth.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids – Elsevier
Published: May 31, 2001
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