Functions of plasmalogen lipids in health and disease

Nancy E. Braverman, Ann B. Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Plasmalogens are a unique class of membrane glycerophospholipids containing a fatty alcohol with a vinyl-ether bond at the sn-1 position, and enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids at the sn-2 position of the glycerol backbone. These two features provide novel properties to these compounds. Although plasmalogens represent up to 20% of the total phospholipid mass in humans their physiological roles have been challenging to identify, and are likely to be particular to different tissues, metabolic processes and developmental stages. Their biosynthesis starts in peroxisomes, and defects at these steps cause the malformation syndrome, Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata (RCDP). The RCDP phenotype predicts developmental roles for plasmalogens in bone, brain, lens, lung, kidney and heart. Recent studies have revealed secondary plasmalogen deficiencies associated with more common disorders and allow us to tease out additional pathways dependent on plasmalogen functions. In this review, we present current knowledge of plasmalogen biology in health and disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Metabolic Functions and Biogenesis of peroxisomes in Health and Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1442-1452
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1822
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Lipid signaling
  • Plasmalogen
  • Plasmalogen replacement therapy
  • Respiratory disease
  • Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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