Send to

Choose Destination
Chembiochem. 2019 Sep 16;20(18):2298-2321. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201800809. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Fatty Acid Biosynthesis: Chain-Length Regulation and Control.

Author information

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Science, Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Strasse 15, 60438, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


De novo biosynthesis of fatty acids is an iterative process requiring strict regulation of the lengths of the produced fatty acids. In this review, we focus on the factors determining chain lengths in fatty acid biosynthesis. In a nutshell, the process of chain-length regulation can be understood as the output of a chain-elongating C-C bond forming reaction competing with a terminating fatty acid release function. At the end of each cycle in the iterative process, the synthesizing enzymes need to "decide" whether the growing chain is to be elongated through another cycle or released as the "mature" fatty acid. Recent research has shed light on the factors determining fatty acid chain length and has also achieved control over chain length for the production of the technologically interesting short-chain (C4 -C8 ) and medium-chain (C10 -C14 ) fatty acids.


biocatalysis; biofuels; fatty acids; metabolism; multidomain enzymes; protein engineering


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center