Oxidation of Beta Carbon in a Carboxylic Acid


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Oxidation of Beta Carbon in a Carboxylic Acid

Beta oxidation is a metabolic process in which fatty acid molecules are broken down to produce energy in many phases. Beta oxidation, in further detail it is the process of breaking down long fatty acids that has converted to acyl-CoA chains into smaller fatty acyl- CoA chains. This reaction produces the elements acetyl-CoA, FADH2 , and NADH, all of which enter the citric acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle, where ATP is created as energy (Williams et al., 2018). The acyl-CoA chain is entirely broken down when two acetyl-CoA molecules are created through beta oxidation. Beta oxidation occurs in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells, but not in the cytoplasm of prokaryotic cells.

Fatty acids must first enter the cell through the cell membrane, then bond to coenzyme A (CoA) to create fatty acyl CoA, which is subsequently transported to the mitochondria, where beta oxidation occurs in eukaryotic cells (Naquet et al., 2020).

Eukaryotic cells mitochondria and prokaryotic cells cytosols both undergo beta oxidation. Fatty acids must first enter the cell in case of eukaryotic cells. Beta oxidation can also occur in peroxisomes when fatty acid chains are too lengthy to enter the mitochondria (Islinger et al., 2018).

First, fatty acid protein transporters allow fatty acids to penetrate the cell membrane and enter the cytoplasm, which is otherwise impossible due to the negatively charged fatty acid chains. The enzyme fatty acyl-CoA synthase then converts the fatty acid chain to acyl-CoA by adding a CoA group to it.

The acyl-CoA chain will enter the mitochondria in one of two routes, depending on its length:

1. The acyl-CoA chain can freely diffuse through the mitochondrial membrane if it is short.

2. The carnitine shuttle must transfer the acyl-CoA chain across the membrane if it is more lengthy. The enzyme Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), which is located on the outer mitochondrial membrane, transforms the acyl-CoA chain into an acylcarnitine chain, which is transferred across the membrane by Carnitine Translocase (CAT). CPT2, which is linked to the inner mitochondrial membrane, transforms acylcarnitine to acyl-CoA once within the mitochondria because acyl-CoA is inside mitochondria, it can undergo beta oxidation.

If the acyl-CoA chain is too lengthy to be digested in the mitochondria, it will be broken down in the peroxisomes by beta oxidation. According to research, very long acyl-CoA chains are broken down until they are 8 carbons long, after which they are delivered to the mitochondria and start the beta oxidation cycle instead of FADH2 and NADH, beta oxidation in the peroxisomes produces H2O2 , which produces heat.

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Best Regards,
Maegan Smith

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