Promotion of plasmalogen biosynthesis reverse lipid changes in a Barth Syndrome cell model Academic Article uri icon

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  • In Barth syndrome (BTHS) mutations in tafazzin leads to changes in both the quantities and the molecular species of cardiolipin (CL), which are the hallmarks of BTHS. Contrary to the well-established alterations in CL associated with BTHS; recently a marked decrease in the plasmalogen levels in Barth specimens has been identified. To restore the plasmalogen levels, the present study reports the effect of promotion of plasmalogen biosynthesis on the lipidome of lymphoblasts derived from Barth patients as well as on cell viability, mitochondria biogenesis, and mitochondrial membrane potential. High resolution 31P NMR phospholipidomic analysis showed an increase in the levels of plasmenylethanolamine (the major plasmalogen in lymphoblasts), which reached values comparable to the control and a compensatory decrease in the levels of its diacyl-PE counterpart. Importantly, 31P NMR showed a significant increase in the levels of CL, while not altering the levels of monolysocardiolipin. Mass spectrometry measurements showed that the promotion of plasmalogen biosynthesis did not change the molecular species profile of targeted phospholipids. In addition, promotion of plasmalogen biosynthesis did not impact on cellular viability, although it significantly decrease mitochondria copy number and restored mitochondrial membrane potential. Overall, the results showed the efficacy of the promotion of plasmalogen biosynthesis on increasing the CL levels in a BTHS cell model and highlight the potential beneficial effect of a diet supplemented with plasmalogen precursors to BTHS patients.


  • Bozelli, José Carlos
  • Lu, Daniel
  • Atilla-Gokcumen, G Ekin
  • Epand, Richard

publication date

  • June 2020

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