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Oxidation of palmitate

Estimate the amount of energy a mammal can obtain from the oxidation of palmitate, in the liver under conditions of ketosis, relative to the amount obtainable under conditions of a balanced diet with adequate consumption of glucogenic fuels.

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When palmitate is oxidized to acetyl-CoA in conditions of a balanced diet, etc. all of the acetyl-CoA is run through the TCA and oxidized completely to CO2. The metabolic process for oxidizing the palmitate (and other fatty acids) is known as beta-oxidation. Each cycle of beta-oxidation removes one two-carbon fragments and oxidizes it to acetyl-CoA.

In order to prepare the palmitate for beta-oxidation, it needs to be "activated" by condensation with CoA. One ATP is converted to AMP in this reaction. The AMP then reacts with another ATP to produce two ADPs. Therefore, two ATPs are required for this process. We need to substract these two from the total obtained in oxidizing palmitate to find out how much energy can be obtained from palmitate.

The complete oxidation of palmitoyl-CoA leads to the synthesis of 131 molecules of ATP, yet 2 ATPs were required to activate palmitate, therefore, the total production is ...

Solution Summary

This solution is provided in 655 words. It discusses what happens to palmitate in the body, and the process of ketosis.