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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Mar;1801(3):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.09.024. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

Acyl-CoA synthesis, lipid metabolism and lipotoxicity.

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Department of Nutrition, CB#7461, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461, USA.


Although the underlying causes of insulin resistance have not been completely delineated, in most analyses, a recurring theme is dysfunctional metabolism of fatty acids. Because the conversion of fatty acids to activated acyl-CoAs is the first and essential step in the metabolism of long-chain fatty acid metabolism, interest has grown in the synthesis of acyl-CoAs, their contribution to the formation of signaling molecules like ceramide and diacylglycerol, and their direct effects on cell function. In this review, we cover the evidence for the involvement of acyl-CoAs in what has been termed lipotoxicity, the regulation of the acyl-CoA synthetases, and the emerging functional roles of acyl-CoAs in the major tissues that contribute to insulin resistance and lipotoxicity, adipose, liver, heart and pancreas.

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