Plasmalogens are a major subclass of ethanolamine and choline glycerophospholipids in which a long chain fatty alcohol is attached at the sn-1 position through a vinyl ether bond. This ether-linked alkyl bond is formed in peroxisomes by replacement of a fatty acyl chain in the intermediate 1-acyl-dihydroxyacetone phosphate with a fatty alcohol in a reaction catalyzed by alkyl dihydroxyacetone phosphate synthase. Here, we demonstrate that the enzyme fatty acyl-CoA reductase 1 (Far1) supplies the fatty alcohols used in the formation of ether-linked alkyl bonds. Far1 activity is elevated in plasmalogen-deficient cells, and conversely, the levels of this enzyme are restored to normal upon plasmalogen supplementation. Down-regulation of Far1 activity in response to plasmalogens is achieved by increasing the rate of degradation of peroxisomal Far1 protein. Supplementation of normal cells with ethanolamine and 1-O-hexadecylglycerol, which are intermediates in plasmalogen biosynthesis, accelerates degradation of Far1. Taken together, our results indicate that ether lipid biosynthesis in mammalian cells is regulated by a negative feedback mechanism that senses cellular plasmalogen levels and appropriately increases or decreases Far1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology