Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Changes in carnitine octanoyltransferase activity induce alteration in fatty acid metabolism.

PMID 21619872


The peroxisomal beta oxidation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) leads to the formation of medium chain acyl-CoAs such as octanoyl-CoA. Today, it seems clear that the exit of shortened fatty acids produced by the peroxisomal beta oxidation requires their conversion into acyl-carnitine and the presence of the carnitine octanoyltransferase (CROT). Here, we describe the consequences of an overexpression and a knock down of the CROT gene in terms of mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acids metabolism in a model of hepatic cells. Our experiments showed that an increase in CROT activity induced a decrease in MCFA and VLCFA levels in the cell. These changes are accompanied by an increase in the level of mRNA encoding enzymes of the peroxisomal beta oxidation. In the same time, we did not observe any change in mitochondrial function. Conversely, a decrease in CROT activity had the opposite effect. These results suggest that CROT activity, by controlling the peroxisomal amount of medium chain acyls, may control the peroxisomal oxidative pathway.