Journal of inherited metabolic disease

Bezafibrate lowers very long-chain fatty acids in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy fibroblasts by inhibiting fatty acid elongation.

PMID 22447153


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene encoding ALDP, an ATP-binding-cassette (ABC) transporter located in the peroxisomal membrane. ALDP deficiency results in impaired peroxisomal β-oxidation and the subsequent accumulation of very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA; > C22:0) in plasma and tissues. VLCFA are primarily derived from endogenous synthesis by ELOVL1. Therefore inhibiting this enzyme might constitute a feasible therapeutic approach. In this paper we demonstrate that bezafibrate, a PPAR pan agonist used for the treatment of patients with hyperlipidaemia reduces VLCFA levels in X-ALD fibroblasts. Surprisingly, the VLCFA-lowering effect was independent of PPAR activation and not caused by the increase in either mitochondrial or peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation capacity. In fact, our results show that bezafibrate reduces VLCFA synthesis by decreasing the synthesis of C26:0 through a direct inhibition of fatty acid elongation activity. Taken together, our data indicate bezafibrate as a potential pharmacotherapeutic treatment for X-ALD. A clinical trial is currently ongoing to evaluate the effect in patients with X-ALD.

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