European journal of biochemistry

Membrane transport of fatty acylcarnitine and free L-carnitine by rat liver microsomes.

PMID 15009207


Recent studies have suggested that parts of the hepatic activities of diacylglycerol acyltransferase and acyl cholesterol acyltransferase are expressed in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However the ER membrane is impermeable to the long-chain fatty acyl-CoA substrates of these enzymes. Liver microsomal vesicles that were shown to be at least 95% impermeable to palmitoyl-CoA were used to demonstrate the membrane transport of palmitoylcarnitine and free L-carnitine - processes that are necessary for an indirect route of provision of ER luminal fatty acyl-CoA through a luminal carnitine acyltransferase (CAT). Experimental conditions and precautions were established to permit measurement of the transport of [14C]palmitoylcarnitine into microsomes through the use of the luminal CAT and acyl-CoA:ethanol acyltransferase as a reporter system to detect formation of luminal [14C]palmitoyl-CoA. Rapid, unidirectional transport of free L-[3H]carnitine by microsomes was measured directly. This process, mediated either by a channel or a carrier, was inhibited by mersalyl but not by N-ethylmaleimide or sulfobetaine - properties that differentiate it from the mitochondrial inner membrane carnitine/acylcarnitine exchange carrier. These findings are relevant to the understanding of processes for the reassembly of triacylglycerols that lipidate very low density lipoprotein particles as part of a hepatic triacylglycerol lipolysis/re-esterification cycle.

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Mersalyl acid, analytical standard