ABSTRACT: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene, which encodes a peroxisomal member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter sub-family D called ALDP. ALDP is supposed to function as a homodimer allowing the entry of CoA-esters of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA) into the peroxisome, the unique site of their beta-oxidation. ALDP deficiency can be corrected by overexpression of ALDRP, its closest homolog. However, the exact nature of the substrates transported by ALDRP and its relationships with ALDP still remain unclear. To gain insight into the function of ALDRP, we used cell models allowing the induction in a dose-dependent manner of a wild type or a mutated non-functional ALDRP-EGFP fusion protein. We explored the consequences of the changes of ALDRP expression levels on the fatty acid content (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) in phospholipids as well as on the levels of beta-oxidation of 3 suspected substrates: C26:0, C24:0 and C22:6 n-3 (DHA). We found an inverse correlation between the fatty acid content of saturated (C26:0, C24:0) and monounsaturated (C26:1, C24:1) VLCFA and the expression level of ALDRP. Interestingly, we obtained a transdominant negative effect of the inactive ALDRP-EGFP on ALDP function. This effect is due to a physical interaction between ALDRP and ALDP that we evidenced by proximity ligation assays and coimmunoprecipitation. Finally, the beta-oxidation assays demonstrate a role of ALDRP in the metabolism of saturated VLCFA (redundant with that of ALDP) but also a specific involvement of ALDRP in the metabolism of DHA.
J. Biol. Chem. 286(10):8075-8085.