Pathological changes in chickens, ducks and turkeys fed high levels of rapeseed oil.
Rations containing 25% of either regular rapeseed oil (36% erucic acid), Oro rapeseed oil (1.9% erucic acid), soybean oil or a mixture of lard and corn oil were fed to chickens, ducks and turkeys. The regular rapeseed oil ration caused growth depression, increased feed conversion and anemia in all species. All the ducks and some of the chickens fed the regular rapeseed oil ration died. These dead birds were affected with hydropericardium and ascites. No deaths in the turkeys could be attributed to the regular rapeseed oil ration but some turkeys fed this ration had degenerative foci characterized by infiltrations of histiocytic and giant cells in the myocardium. Severe fatty change in the heart, skeletal muscles, spleen and kidney was found at an early age in all birds fed the regular rapeseed oil ration. Less severe fatty change but no other lesions were found in birds fed the Oro rapeseed oil and soybean oil rations. (+info)
Preventing neurodegeneration in the Drosophila mutant bubblegum.
The Drosophila melanogaster recessive mutant bubblegum (bgm) exhibits adult neurodegeneration, with marked dilation of photoreceptor axons. The bubblegum mutant shows elevated levels of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs), as seen in the human disease adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). In ALD, the excess can be lowered by dietary treatment with "Lorenzo's oil," a mixture of unsaturated fatty acids. Feeding the fly mutant one of the components, glyceryl trioleate oil, blocked the accumulation of excess VLCFAs as well as development of the pathology. Mutant flies thus provide a potential model system for studying mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and screening drugs for treatment. (+info)
Evidence that oleoyl-CoA and ATP-dependent elongations coexist in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.).
The elongation of different substrates was studied using several subcellular fractions from Brassica napus rapeseed. In the presence of malonyl-CoA, NADH and NADPH, very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) synthesis was observed from either oleoyl-CoA (acyl-CoA elongation) or endogenous primers (ATP-dependent elongation). No activity was detected using oleic acid as precursor. Acyl-CoA and ATP-dependent elongation activities were mainly associated with the 15 000 g/25 min membrane fraction. Reverse-phase TLC analysis showed that the proportions of fatty acids synthesized by these activities were different. Acyl-CoA elongation increased up to 60 microM oleoyl-CoA, and ATP-dependent elongation was maximum at 1 mM ATP. Both activities increased with malonyl-CoA concentration (up to 200 microM). Under all conditions tested, acyl-CoA elongation was higher than ATP-dependent elongation, and, in the presence of both ATP and oleoyl-CoA, the elongation activity was always lower. ATP strongly inhibited acyl-CoA elongation, whereas ATP-dependent elongation was slightly stimulated by low oleoyl-CoA concentrations (up to 15 microM) and decreased in the presence of higher concentrations. CoA (up to 150 microM) had no effect on the ATP-dependent elongation, whereas it inhibited the acyl-CoA elongation. These marked differences strongly support the presence in maturing rapeseed of two different elongating activities differently modulated by ATP and oleoyl-CoA. (+info)
Progression of abnormalities in adrenomyeloneuropathy and neurologically asymptomatic X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy despite treatment with "Lorenzo's oil".
OBJECTIVES: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is an inherited disorder of peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation, biochemically characterised by the accumulation of saturated very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs), particularly hexacosanoic acid (C26:0). Dietary treatment with a 4:1 mixture of glyceroltrioleate and glyceroltrierucate ("Lorenzo's oil") normalises plasma VLCFA concentrations, but neither ameliorates nor arrests the rapid progression of neurological symptoms in the cerebral variants of X-ALD. The efficacy of "Lorenzo's oil" in the milder phenotypes of X-ALD was assessed, as this has been much less investigated. METHODS: Twenty two patients who were treated with "Lorenzo's oil" for at least 12 months for a median period of 2.5 (range 1.0-6.0) years were studied. Two had asymptomatic ALD, four the "Addison only" variant, 13 adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), and three were symptomatic female carriers. RESULTS: The plasma C26:0 concentration normalised or near normalised in 19 patients (86%), in the three others it decreased significantly. Nevertheless, disability as measured with the extended disability status scale score increased mildly (0.5 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.25-1.0)) in the 16 patients with neurological symptoms. Furthermore, one "Addison only" patient and one patient with AMN developed cerebral demyelination, and another "Addison only" patient developed AMN. Adrenocortical insufficiency evolved in one patient with AMN, and hypogonadism in one patient with asymptomatic ALD and two patients with AMN. Nerve conduction, evoked potential studies (SEP, BAEP, VEP), and abnormalities on cerebral MRI did not improve. On the other hand, side effects were often noted-namely, mild increases in liver enzymes (55%), thrombocytopenia (55%), gastrointestinal complaints (14%), and gingivitis (14%). We also found a mild decrease in haemoglobin concentration and leucocyte count. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that treatment with "Lorenzo's oil" neither improved neurological or endocrine function nor arrested progression of the disease. Furthermore, the oil often induced adverse effects. Therefore, it is advocated that "Lorenzo's oil" should not be prescribed routinely to patients with X-ALD who already have neurological deficits. (+info)
Purification of a jojoba embryo fatty acyl-coenzyme A reductase and expression of its cDNA in high erucic acid rapeseed.
The jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant produces esters of long-chain alcohols and fatty acids (waxes) as a seed lipid energy reserve. This is in contrast to the triglycerides found in seeds of other plants. We purified an alcohol-forming fatty acyl-coenzyme A reductase (FAR) from developing embryos and cloned the cDNA encoding the enzyme. Expression of a cDNA in Escherichia coli confers FAR activity upon those cells and results in the accumulation of fatty alcohols. The FAR sequence shows significant homology to an Arabidopsis protein of unknown function that is essential for pollen development. When the jojoba FAR cDNA is expressed in embryos of Brassica napus, long-chain alcohols can be detected in transmethylated seed oils. Resynthesis of the gene to reduce its A plus T content resulted in increased levels of alcohol production. In addition to free alcohols, novel wax esters were detected in the transgenic seed oils. In vitro assays revealed that B. napus embryos have an endogenous fatty acyl-coenzyme A: fatty alcohol acyl-transferase activity that could account for this wax synthesis. Thus, introduction of a single cDNA into B. napus results in a redirection of a portion of seed oil synthesis from triglycerides to waxes. (+info)
Mutations in the fatty acid elongation 1 gene are associated with a loss of beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase activity in low erucic acid rapeseed.
Low erucic acid rapeseed (LEAR) is characterised by a near absence of very long chain fatty acids in the seed oil which has been correlated with a lack of acyl-CoA elongation activity. Here we show that the absence of acyl-CoA and ATP-dependent elongation activities in microsomes isolated from LEAR embryos is associated with an absence of beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase activity encoded by the Bn-fatty acid elongation 1 (FAE1) genes. Size exclusion chromatography of solubilised microsomes revealed the presence of a high molecular mass acyl-CoA elongase complex in high erucic acid rapeseed which was absent in microsomes isolated from LEAR seeds. Although transcripts for the Bn-FAE1 genes were detected in LEAR embryos, immunoblots using antisera raised against the beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase indicated an absence of this protein. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of immature embryo cDNAs reveals that LEAR alleles of Bn-FAE1 encode variant beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase proteins. (+info)
Active-site residues of a plant membrane-bound fatty acid elongase beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, FAE1 KCS.
The fatty acid elongase-1 beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, FAE1 KCS, a seed-specific elongase condensing enzyme from Arabidopsis, is involved in the production of eicosenoic (C20:1) and erucic (C22:1) acids. Alignment of the amino acid sequences of FAE1 KCS, KCS1, and five other putative elongase condensing enzymes (KCSs) revealed the presence of six conserved cysteine and four conserved histidine residues. Each of the conserved cysteine and histidine residues was individually converted by site-directed mutagenesis to both alanine and serine, and alanine and lysine respectively. After expression in yeast cells, the mutant enzymes were analyzed for their fatty acid elongase activity. Our results indicated that only cysteine 223 is an essential residue for enzyme activity, presumably for acyl chain transfer. All histidine substitutions resulted in complete loss of elongase activity. The loss of activity of these mutants was not due to their lower expression level since immunoblot analysis confirmed each was expressed to the same extent as the wild type FAE1 KCS. (+info)
Cardiac lesions in rats fed rapeseed oils.
Fully refined rapeseed oils containing different amounts of erucic acid (1.6%, 4.3% and 22.3%) were fed, at 20% by weight of diet, to weanling male and female Sprague-Dawley rats for periods up to 112 days. Transient myocardial lipidosis characterized by accumulation of fat droplets in myocardial fibers was marked in male and female rats fed oxidized and unoxidized rapeseed oil containing 22.3% erucic acid, moderate with rapeseed oil containing 4.3% erucic acid and very slight in rats fed rapeseed oil containing 1.6% erucic acid. Peak intensity of myocardial lipidosis occurred at three to seven days and regressed thereafter. Focal myocardial necrosis and fibrosis occurred in male rats fed rapeseed oils containing different levels of erucic acid for 112 days. The incidence of myocardial necrosis and fibrosis was markedly lower in female rats, and the incidence of these lesions in either sex was not affected by the state of oxidation of these oils. In a second experiment, male rats were fed diets containing crude, partially refined or fully refined rapeseed oils. There was no correlation between the number of foci of myocardial necrosis and fibrosis and the state of refinement of the oils, but there were generally fewer lesions in rats fed those oils having the lowest levels of erucic acid. (+info)