Resolution of the phytanic acid alpha-oxidation pathway: identification of pristanal as product of the decarboxylation of 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Aug 08; 237(1):33-6.BB
The structure and enzymology of the phytanic acid alpha-oxidation pathway have long remained an enigma. Recent studies have shown that phytanic acid first undergoes activation to its coenzyme A ester, followed by hydroxylation to 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA. In this paper we have studied the mechanism of decarboxylation of 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA in human liver. To this end, human liver homogenates were incubated with 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA in the presence or absence of NAD+. Hereafter, the medium was analyzed for the presence of pristanal and pristanic acid by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Our results show that pristanal is formed from 2-hydroxyphytanoyl-CoA. Pristanal is subsequently oxidized to pristanic acid in a NAD+ dependent reaction. These results finally resolve the mechanism of the phytanic acid alpha-oxidation process in human liver.