Formation of a novel arachidonic acid metabolite in peroxisomes

J. A. Gordon, S. K. Heller, W. J. Rhead, P. A. Watkins, A. A. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new radiolabeled metabolite was released into the extracellular fluid by normal human skin fibroblasts that were labeled with [5,6,8,9,11,12,14,15-3H] arachidonic acid. This product continued to accumulate during a 24 h incubation, and its formation was not saturated at arachidonic acid concentrations up to 15 μmol/L. The compound, identified as hexadecatrienoic acid, was not produced by Zellweger fibroblasts which are deficient in peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation. By contrast, radiolabeled hexadecatrienoic acid was produced by mutant fibroblasts having other peroxisomal defects, including X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, adult Refsum's disease, and rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata. This radiolabeled metabolite also was produced by mutant fibroblasts that cannot oxidize long-chain fatty acids in the mitochondria. These results indicate that hexadecatrienoic acid is synthesized from arachidonic acid by peroxisomal β-oxidation. The absence of this pathway may account for some of the biochemical and functional abnormalities that occur in Zellweger's syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalProstaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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