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J Biol Chem. 2003 Feb 28;278(9):7335-43. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Identification of two mammalian reductases involved in the two-carbon fatty acyl elongation cascade.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9046, USA.


The de novo synthesis of fatty acids occurs in two distinct cellular compartments. Palmitate (16:0) is synthesized from acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA in the cytoplasm by the enzymes acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 and fatty acid synthase. The synthesis of fatty acids longer than 16 carbons takes place in microsomes and utilizes malonyl-CoA as the carbon source. Each two-carbon addition requires four sequential reactions: condensation, reduction, dehydration, and a final reduction to form the elongated fatty acyl-CoA. The initial condensation reaction is the regulated and rate-controlling step in microsomal fatty acyl elongation. We previously reported the cDNA cloning and characterization of a murine long chain fatty acyl elongase (LCE) . Overexpression of LCE in cells resulted in the enhanced addition of two-carbon units to C12-C16 fatty acids, and evidence was provided that LCE catalyzed the initial condensation reaction of long chain fatty acid elongation. The remaining three enzymes in the elongation reaction have not been identified in mammals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of two mammalian enzymes that catalyze the 3-ketoacyl-CoA and trans-2,3-enoyl-CoA reduction reactions in long and very long chain fatty acid elongation, respectively.

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