Betaoxidation is part of lipid digestion and is the breakdown of a fatty acid by removal of 2carbon units
Fats are degraded into fatty acids and glycerol in the cytoplasm
Betaoxidation of fatty acids occurs in the mitochondria
The 2carbon units are released as AcetylCoA
As you know from lecture, fats are an important energy source. The first initial event in the utilization of fat in general is hydrolysis of
triacylglycerols by lipases (triacylglycerols are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids). Glycerol from fats can enter glycolysis; fatty acids can
be oxidized through betaoxidation.
How does this happen?
1. Fatty acids must first be activated by formation of an acylCoA (I.e. a “CoA” group is added to the end of the fatty acid).
2. The Fatty acid (with the –CoA; aka fatty acylCoA) enters into the mitochondria via Fatty acylcarnitinecarnitine transporter (For
animation: http://www.brookscole.com/chemistry_d/templates /student_resources/shared_resources/animations/carnitine/carnitine1.htm l)
3. Once in the mitochondria, the