Overview of How n32 and n34 Elovanoids Sustain Sight by Protecting Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells and Photoreceptors

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Journal of Lipid Research


The essential fatty acid DHA (22:6, omega-3 or n-3) is enriched in and required for the membrane biogenesis and function of photoreceptor cells (PRCs), synapses, mitochondria, etc. of the CNS. PRC DHA becomes an acyl chain at the sn-2 of phosphatidylcholine, amounting to more than 50% of the PRC outer segment phospholipids, where phototransduction takes place. Very long chain PUFAs (n-3, ≥ 28 carbons) are at the sn-1 of this phosphatidylcholine molecular species and interact with rhodopsin. PRC shed their tips (DHA-rich membrane disks) daily, which in turn are phagocytized by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), where DHA is recycled back to PRC inner segments to be used for the biogenesis of new photoreceptor membranes. Here, we review the structures and stereochemistry of novel elovanoid (ELV)-N32 and ELV-N34 to be ELVN32: (14Z,17Z,20R,21E,23E,25Z,27S,29Z)-20,27-dihydro xydo-triaconta-14,17,21,23,25,29-hexaenoic acid; ELVN34: (16Z,19Z,22R,23E,25E,27Z,29S,31Z)-22,29-dihydrox ytetra-triaconta-16,19,23,25,27,31-hexaenoic acid. ELVs are low-abundance, high-potency, protective mediators. Their bioactivity includes enhancing of antiapoptotic and prosurvival protein expression with concomitant downregulation of proapoptotic proteins when RPE is confronted with uncompensated oxidative stress. ELVs also target PRC/RPE senescence gene programming, the senescence secretory phenotype in the interphotoreceptor matrix, as well as inflammaging (chronic, sterile, low-grade inflammation). An important lesson on neuroprotection is highlighted by the ELV mediators that target the terminally differentiated PRC and RPE, sustaining a beautifully synchronized renewal process. The role of ELVs in PRC and RPE viability and function uncovers insights on disease mechanisms and the development of therapeutics for age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and other pathologies.

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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology [Associate Organisation]; Elsevier