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The breakdown of fatty acids, called fatty acid oxidation    or beta (β)-oxidation    , begins in the cytoplasm, where fatty acids are converted into fatty acyl CoA molecules. This fatty acyl CoA combines with carnitine to create a fatty acyl carnitine molecule, which helps to transport the fatty acid across the mitochondrial membrane. Once inside the mitochondrial matrix, the fatty acyl carnitine molecule is converted back into fatty acyl CoA and then into acetyl CoA ( [link] ). The newly formed acetyl CoA enters the Krebs cycle and is used to produce ATP in the same way as acetyl CoA derived from pyruvate.

Breakdown of fatty acids

This figure shows the reactions that break down fatty acids. The top panel shows the conversion of fatty acids into carnitine. The bottom panel shows the conversion of carnitine into acetyl-CoA.
During fatty acid oxidation, triglycerides can be broken down into acetyl CoA molecules and used for energy when glucose levels are low.

Ketogenesis

If excessive acetyl CoA is created from the oxidation of fatty acids and the Krebs cycle is overloaded and cannot handle it, the acetyl CoA is diverted to create ketone bodies    . These ketone bodies can serve as a fuel source if glucose levels are too low in the body. Ketones serve as fuel in times of prolonged starvation or when patients suffer from uncontrolled diabetes and cannot utilize most of the circulating glucose. In both cases, fat stores are liberated to generate energy through the Krebs cycle and will generate ketone bodies when too much acetyl CoA accumulates.

In this ketone synthesis reaction, excess acetyl CoA is converted into hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA (HMG CoA)    . HMG CoA is a precursor of cholesterol and is an intermediate that is subsequently converted into β-hydroxybutyrate, the primary ketone body in the blood ( [link] ).

Ketogenesis

This pathway shows the production of beta-hydroxybutyrate from acetyl-CoA.
Excess acetyl CoA is diverted from the Krebs cycle to the ketogenesis pathway. This reaction occurs in the mitochondria of liver cells. The result is the production of β-hydroxybutyrate, the primary ketone body found in the blood.

Ketone body oxidation

Organs that have classically been thought to be dependent solely on glucose, such as the brain, can actually use ketones as an alternative energy source. This keeps the brain functioning when glucose is limited. When ketones are produced faster than they can be used, they can be broken down into CO 2 and acetone. The acetone is removed by exhalation. One symptom of ketogenesis is that the patient’s breath smells sweet like alcohol. This effect provides one way of telling if a diabetic is properly controlling the disease. The carbon dioxide produced can acidify the blood, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition in diabetics.

Ketones oxidize to produce energy for the brain. beta (β)-hydroxybutyrate    is oxidized to acetoacetate and NADH is released. An HS-CoA molecule is added to acetoacetate, forming acetoacetyl CoA. The carbon within the acetoacetyl CoA that is not bonded to the CoA then detaches, splitting the molecule in two. This carbon then attaches to another free HS-CoA, resulting in two acetyl CoA molecules. These two acetyl CoA molecules are then processed through the Krebs cycle to generate energy ( [link] ).

Questions & Answers

A diagram of epithelial tissue
Emmanuel Reply
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Jennifer Reply
functions of melatonin
marion Reply
d. inversely proportional
John Reply
Airway resistance in the human lung is? a. Greatest in the generation of distal bronchioles in healthy people because these airways have the smallest radii b. Not increased during a forced expiration in a healthy subject c. Decreased when breathing through the mouth d. Inversely proportional
Maryam Reply
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d
HMD
High
HMD
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menopause
Vasu
no
KUHELI
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Maryam
skin
The following hormones increase the blood glucose level except_____________? a. Parathormone b. Growth Hormone c. Epinephrine d. Thyroxine
Maryam
c.epinephrine
Divya
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic feature of alveoli in the lung? a. Poor blood supply b. A large surface area c. Thin walls d. Chemical layer called surfactant
Maryam
a.poor blood supply
Divya
poor blood supply
Tanvi
Excess of cortisol causes______________? a. Acromegaly b. Conn’s syndrome c. Diabetes insipidus d. Cushing syndrome
Maryam
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Maryam
cushing syndrome
Tanvi
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Maryam
Airway resistance in the human lung is? a. Greatest in the generation of distal bronchioles in healthy people because these airways have the smallest radii b. Not increased during a forced expiration in a healthy subject c. Decreased when breathing through the mouth d. Inversely proportional
Maryam
what happens to the brain when one cannot sleep
aghedo
name temporary endocrine gland in female.
KUHELI Reply
when does 1st meiotic division occur in male ?
KUHELI Reply
spermatogenesis
Vasu
) Which of the following best describes the human body's defense mechanism against environmental bacteria?
Homeostasis
Zeinab
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Zeinab
skin
KUHELI
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Zeinab
Homeostasis is the system responsible for body response to external changes
Eliaz
skin
skin
Kharim
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Lodrick Reply
it's a reaction from a body tissue
Perpenjeng
is the body own mechanism of fighting against disease especially infections or injuries.
Azapa
Inflammation is a tissue response to damage tissues
Zeinab
The following hormones increase the blood glucose level except_____________? a. Parathormone b. Growth Hormone c. Epinephrine d. Thyroxine
Maryam
which cells are responsible for bone formation?
Richard Reply
osteocytes
Sharon
Oestocytes
Zeinab
osteocytes
Vasu
The following hormones increase the blood glucose level except_____________? a. Parathormone b. Growth Hormone c. Epinephrine d. Thyroxine
Maryam
which muscles are innervated by the lateral plantar nerve?
Tinyiko Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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