Riboflavin-responsive defects of β-oxidation

  • N. Gregersen
Section IV: Riboflavin, Thiamine, Pyridoxine And Vitamin E


The key reaction in the β-oxidation of fatty acids is the acyl-CoA dehydrogenation, catalyzed by short chain, medium chain, and long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenases. Acyl-CoA dehydrogenation reactions are also involved in the metabolism of the branched chain amino acids, where isovaleryl-CoA and 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenases are involved and in the metabolism of lysine, 5-hydroxylysine and tryptophan, where glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase functions. In all of these dehydrogenation systems reducing equivalents are transported to the main respiratory chain by electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF) and electron transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase (ETFDH), which are common to all the dehydrogenation systems. The acyl-CoA dehydrogenation enzymes are dependent on flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as coenzyme, for which riboflavin is the precursor. Patients with multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenation deficiencies have been found in whom the defect has been located to ETF and/or ETFDH. A few patients with multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenation deficiencies have been described, in whom no defects in acyl-CoA dehydrogenases, ETF or ETFDH have been found but who respond clinically and biochemically to pharmacological doses of riboflavin. This indicates a defect related to the metabolism of FAD. An uptake defect of riboflavin or a synthesis defect of FAD from riboflavin have been excluded byin vivo andin vitro studies. A mitochondrial transport defect of FAD or a defect in the binding FAD to ETF and/or ETFDH remains possible.


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© SSIEM and MTP Press Limited 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Gregersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Laboratory for Metabolic DisordersUniversity Department of Clinical ChemistryAarhus CDenmark

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