Fatty acid oxidation (β-oxidation) is a multi-step process by which fatty acids are broken down to generate acetyl-CoA, NADH and FADH2 for further energy transformation in the mitochondrial matrix. Whereas NADH is the substrate of CI, FADH2 is the substrate of Electron-transferring flavoprotein complex (CETF) which is localized on the matrix face of the mtIM, and supplies electrons from FADH2 to CoQ2. Before the mitochondrial transport for ß-oxidation, fatty acids (short-chain with 1-6, medium-chain with 7–12, long-chain with >12 carbon atoms) are activated by fatty acyl-CoA synthases (thiokinases) in the cytosol. For the mitochondrial transport of long-chain fatty acids the mtOM-enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-1; rate-limiting step in FAO) is required which generates an acyl-carnitine intermediate from acyl-CoA and carnitine. In the next step, an integral mtIM protein carnitine-acylcarnitine translocase (CACT) catalyzes the entrance of acyl-carnitines into the mitochondrial matrix in exchange for free carnitines. In the inner side of the mtIM, another enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT-2) converts the acyl-carnitines to carnitine and acyl-CoAs, which undergo ß-oxidation in the mitochondrial matrix. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids do not require the carnitine shuttle for mitochondrial transport. Octanoate, but not palmitate, (eight- and 16-carbon saturated fatty acids) may pass the mt-membranes, but both are frequently supplied to mt-preparations in the activated form of octanoylcarnitine or palmitoylcarnitine.
Reference: Gnaiger 2019 MitoPathways,
MitoPedia O2k and high-resolution respirometry: O2k-Open Support
FAO and HRR
- FAO cannot proceed without a substrate combination of fatty acids & malate, and inhibition of CI blocks FAO completely. Fatty acids are split stepwise into two carbon fragments forming acetyl-CoA, which enters the TCA cycle by condensation with oxaloacetate (CS reaction). Therefore, FAO implies simultaneous electron transfer into the Q-junction through CETF and CI.
SUITbrowser question: Fatty acid oxidation
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- » O2k-Network discussion forum: fatty acids used in permeabilized fibre assays
- » F-pathway control state
MitoPedia methods: Respirometry
MitoPedia topics: Substrate and metabolite