The influence of pyrene-fatty acids on the resistance of cells to ultraviolet (UV) radiation was investigated in cultured fibroblasts from patients with five types of peroxisomal disorders. All showed reduced survival compared to control. The effect varied with the biochemical defect involved and the chain length of the pyrene fatty acid. Reduced survival was observed in cells deficient in plasmalogens (rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata) and in cells deficient in peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation (bifunctional enzyme deficiency), which accumulated pyrene-fatty acids. X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy fibroblasts accumulated pyrene-fatty acids and showed increased UV sensitivity only when exposed to longer-chain pyrene fatty acids. UV radiation resistance was lowest in cells with combined impairment of plasmalogen synthesis and fatty acid oxidation (Zellweger syndrome, neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy), suggesting that UV sensitivity correlates inversely with the ratio of plasmalogens to radical producing substances. Fibroblasts deficient in plasmalogens gained normal UV resistance when their plasmalogen levels were normalized by hexadecylglycerol. UV resistance increased when Zellweger cells were fused with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy cells, and also when Zellweger cells belonging to different complementation groups were fused. The results provide leads to the pathogenesis of the multiple malformations associated with peroxisomal disorders and a method for the selection of cells in which the metabolic defect has been corrected.
G Hoefler, E Paschke, S Hoefler, A B Moser, H W Moser