Biosynthesis of Fatty Acids Flashcards Preview

DEMS: Unit II > Biosynthesis of Fatty Acids > Flashcards

Flashcards in Biosynthesis of Fatty Acids Deck (10):

Differences between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

  • Saturated fatty acids contain no double bonds
  • Unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more double bonds
    •  Almost all double bonds in fatty acids are in cis configuration
    • One double bond = monounsaturated
    • More than one double bond = polyunsaturated
  • Cis double bonds cause fatty acid to bend at that position
    • Decreases melting temperature of fatty acid
    • Long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) usually components of cell membranes
      • Double bonds increase membrane fluidity


Fatty acid synthesis favored when energy sources are in excess - how and why?

  • Eat a lot of carbs --> Insulin release --> ↑ fatty acid synthesis indirectly by promoting glucose utilization --> ↑ pyruvate flux
    • Results in formation of lots of acetyl CoA --> ↑ fatty acid biosynthesis.
  • High levels of ATP inhibit isocitrate dehydrogenase --> blocks TCA cycle, causes accumulation of citrate to enhance fatty acid synthesis
  • Long term consumption of excess calories --> ↑ in Acetyl CoA carboxylase synthesis
    • and vice versa
  • High fat/low carb diet shuts down this pathway (pyruvate not formed)


3 phases of fatty acid synthesis

  1. Production of cytosolic Acetyl CoA
    • Acetyl portion of Acetyl CoA condenses with OAA, produces citrate. Citrate is then transported into the cytosol, then lysed and turned back into Acetyl-CoA
    • Mitochondrial acetyl CoA produced by oxidation of pyruvate and by catabolism of fatty acids, ketone bodies, and certain amino acids
  2. Conversion of Acetyl CoA to Malonyl CoA by Acetyl CoA Carboxylase.
    • Rate limiting step, commitment step, and major regulatory step 
  3. Conversion of Malonyl CoA into palmitate by fatty acid synthase.
    • This is a 4 step process that repeats and adds 2 carbons each time
    • Acetyl CoA is used for the first cycle; Malonyl CoA is used for subsequent cycles
    • Ultimately forms palmitate

A image thumb

Substrates for fatty acid synthesis

  • Mainly Acetyl CoA in mitochondria
  • More detailed: Substrate (acted on by enzyme in parentheses) → Product
    • Pyruvate (PDH) → Acetyl CoA (citrate synthase) → Citrate → Leaves mitochondria (ATP citrate lyase) → Cytosolic Acetyl CoA (Acetyl CoA Carboxylase) → Malonyl CoA (fatty acid synthase) → Palmitate → enters ER → can elongate or become desaturated → Tryglycerides and lipids 


Four regulators of fatty acid synthesis

  1. Citrate
  2. Palmitoyl CoA
  3. Malonyl CoA
  4. Insulin and glucagon


MOA of citrate

  • Citrate split into Acetyl CoA and OAA in cytosol
    • Acetyl CoA used for fatty acid synthesis
    • OAA converted to malate, then pyruvate --> produces NADPH to be used in fatty acid synthesis pathway
  • Citrate also activates Acetyl CoA carboxylase
    • Causes polymerization of enzyme (conformational change) and increasing VMax


MOA of palmitoyl CoA

  • Acts as inhibitor of acetyl CoA carboxylase
  • Cytosolic levels elevated during starvation or on high fat diets


MOA of Malonyl CoA

  • Product of acetyl CoA carboxylase
  • Made under conditions favorable for fatty acid synthesis
  • Potent inhibitor of carnitine acyltransferase I
    • Key regulatory step of fatty acid degradation


MOA of insulin and glucagon (as regulators of fatty acid synthesis)

  • Insulin promotes fatty acid synthesis indirectly by promoting glucose utilization (↑ pyruvate flux)
  • Insulin can activate protein phosphatase --> dephosphorylates (activates) Acetyl CoA carboxylase 
  • Glucagon increases intracellular cAMP --> phosphorylation and inactivation of Acetyl CoA carboxylase
  • Epinephrine has same effects as glucagon

**Regulation of Acetyl CoA carboxylase is key to regulation of fatty acid synthesis

A image thumb

How does chronic alcoholism cause hyperlipidemia?

  • Ethanol metabolized to acetate, mainly in liver
    • This reaction produces lots of NADH
  • ↑ NADH/NAD+ slows citric acid cycle and fatty acid oxidation, promotes formation of glycerol-3-P from DHAP
  • Glycerol-3-P + fatty acids --> triacylglycerols
  • TAGs synthesized in liver normally packaged with cholesteryl esters, cholesterol, phospholipid, apolipoprotein B100 --> form VLDL for delivery to body

  • At first, excess alcohol causes liver to secrete abnormally high levels of VLDLs

  • Chronic liver dysfxn impairs protein synthesis including Apo-B100 ---> liver becomes unable to produce/secrete VLDL, increasing hepatic fat buildup