Alkyl-dihydroxyacetone phosphate synthase and dihydroxyacetone phosphate acyltransferase form a protein complex in peroxisomes


H. van den Bosch, Department Biochemistry of Lipids, Centre for Biomembranes and Lipid Enzymology, Padualaan 8, NL-3584 CH Utrecht, the Netherlands. Fax: + 31 30 2537990, E-mail:


Dihydroxyacetone phosphate (GrnP) acyltransferase and alkyl-GrnP synthase are the key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of ether phospholipids. Both enzymes are located on the inside of the peroxisomal membrane. Here we report evidence for a direct interaction between these enzymes obtained by the use of chemical cross-linking. After cross-linking and immunoblot analysis alkyl-GrnP synthase could be detected in a 210-kDa complex which was located entirely on the lumenal side of the peroxisomal membrane. Two-dimensional SDS/PAGE demonstrated that GrnP-acyltransferase is also cross-linked in a 210-kDa complex. Co-immunoprecipitation confirmed that the two enzymes interact, in a heterotrimeric complex. Furthermore, alkyl-GrnP synthase can form a homotrimeric complex in the absence of GrnP-acyltransferase as was demonstrated by immunoblot analysis after cross-linking experiments with either GrnP-acyltransferase deficient human fibroblast homogenates or recombinant (His)6-tagged alkyl-GrnP synthase. We conclude that alkyl-GrnP synthase interacts selectively with GrnP-acyltransferase in a heterotrimeric complex and in the absence of GrnP-acyltransferase can also form a homotrimeric complex.