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VI. Modification of Dietary and Endogenous Fatty Acids

Overview     Elongation Elongation: Fatty Acid Synthesis in the Endoplasmic Reticulum Elongation: Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Elongation, a Minor Pathway     Desaturation Desaturation: The Overall Reaction Desaturation: Specificity     Previous Page Next Page

Desaturation: The Overall Reaction

RCH2CH2...CH2COSCoA + NADPH + H+ + O2 -->

A cis double bond is formed.

The reaction requires an electron transport system involving:

  1. cytochrome b5
  2. desaturase
  3. NADPH-cytochrome b5 reductase

This complex system avoids generating H2O2 in the vicinity of the sensitive double bonds. The system is associated with the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum.


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