The Role of Oxidation of Fatty Acids

Discuss the role of oxidation of fatty acids in the inhibition of the pyruvate conversion to acetyl CoA

  • The 3-carbon pyruvic acid changes to CO2and a 2-carbon acetyl group (CH3CO), which attaches to Coenzyme A, forming acetyl CoA (CH3COCoA).
  • The conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA reduces an NAD+molecule, which leads to the release of three ATP in the mitochondrion.
  • Depending on the availability of fuels for the muscle cell, fatty acids can be used for energy production—especially by type 1 skeletal muscle cells.
  • The breakdown of fatty acids to produce energy results in an increase in the compound acetyl CoA.
    • Upon build-up of acetyl CoA, pyruvic acid is no longer converted to acetyl CoA in glycolysis.
    • Conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA stops until all of the remaining acetyl CoA is used.