Peroxisomal L-bifunctional enzyme (Ehhadh) is essential for the production of medium-chain dicarboxylic acids

Sander M. Houten*, Simone Denis, Carmen A. Argmann, Yuzhi Jia, Sacha Ferdinandusse, Janardan K. Reddy, Ronald J.A. Wanders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


L-bifunctional enzyme (Ehhadh) is part of the classical peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation pathway. This pathway is highly inducible via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) activation. However, no specific substrates or functions for Ehhadh are known, and Ehhadh knockout (KO) mice display no appreciable changes in lipid metabolism. To investigate Ehhadh functions, we used a bioinformatics approach and found that Ehhadh expression covaries with genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and in mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation. Based on these findings and the regulation of Ehhadh's expression by PPARα, we hypothesized that the phenotype of Ehhadh KO mice would become apparent after fasting. Ehhadh mice tolerated fasting well but displayed a marked deficiency in the fasting-induced production of the medium-chain dicarboxylic acids adipic and suberic acid and of the carnitine esters thereof. The decreased levels of adipic and suberic acid were not due to a deficient induction of ω-oxidation upon fasting, as Cyp4a10 protein levels increased in wild-type and Ehhadh KO mice. We conclude that Ehhadh is indispensable for the production of medium-chain dicarboxylic acids, providing an explanation for the coordinated induction of mitochondrial and peroxisomal oxidative pathways during fasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1303
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Fatty acid oxidation
  • Mouse models
  • Omega oxidation
  • Peroxisome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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