Sjögren-Larsson syndrome (SLS) is an inherited metabolic disease characterized by ichthyosis, spasticity, intellectual disability and deficient oxidation and accumulation of of fatty aldehydes and alcohols. We investigated whether excess fatty alcohols in SLS are diverted into biosynthesis of ether glycerolipids (eGLs) by measuring the 1-O-alkylglycerol (AG) backbone of eGLs in stratum corneum, plasma and red blood cells (RBCs). In all tissues, saturated and monounsaturated AGs were detected. In stratum corneum from SLS patients, saturated AGs (C15-C20) were increased 97-fold (range: 86- to 169-fold) compared to controls. AGs were largely (67 ± 9%) derived from neutral esterified eGLs (i.e. alkyl-diacylglyerol) and free non-esterified AGs (28 ± 10%), but very little from plasmalogens (3 ± 5%). Plasma from SLS patients had 2-fold more C18:0-AG (p < 0.005) and 40% less C16:1-AG (p < 0.01) than controls but the total concentration of AGs was not increased, and the AG profile in RBCs from SLS subjects was normal. All AGs were profoundly reduced in plasma and RBCs from patients with Zellweger spectrum disorder, who have impaired eGL (i.e. plasmalogen) synthesis. The striking accumulation of AGs in stratum corneum of SLS patients constitutes a novel lipid biomarker for this disease, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of the ichthyosis. Measurement of AGs is a simple and convenient method to assess global synthesis of eGLs and potentially identify patients with defects in their metabolism.
- Ether lipid
- Stratum corneum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology