Activation of fatty acids

Activation of fatty acids:

Fatty acids are comparatively inert chemical molecules and therefore they have to be transformed to an active intermediate for the initiation of β-oxidation. The activation of fatty acids occurs in the cytosol in the existence of ATP, coenzyme A and acyl CoA synthetase. The activated fatty acid after that enters into mitochondria along with the help of a carrier protein, carnitine in the existence of a enzyme carnitine acyl transferase.

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Oxidation of acyl CoA (fatty acid) occurs through various steps leading to the creation of acetyl CoA (C2) and an acyl CoA comprising two carbon atoms that are less than the original fatty acid along with which the β-oxidation cycle originally started. After that Acyl CoA enters into an identical oxidation cycle until all the carbon atoms are released like acetyl CoA. These reactions need cofactors such as Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide (FAD) and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+).

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                                                          Diagram: Schematic representation of β-oxidation


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