, Volume 5, Issue 7, pp 611–616 | Cite as

Desaturation of saturated fatty acids by rat liver microsomes

  • John R. Paulsrud
  • Sheila E. Stewart
  • Gustav Graff
  • Ralph T. Holman


A method was developed for the rapid determination of the initial velocity of the desaturation of saturated fatty acids. In the reaction, DPNH was a more efficient electron donor than TPNH. Fatdeficient rats have a 2.5-fold greater level of acyl desaturase per milligram of liver microsomal protein than did animals fed lab chow. Increasing the chain length of the acyl substrate from 10∶0 to 18∶0 increases the rate of monoene formation, but 19∶0 is desaturated at a rate lower than that for 15∶0. The energy of activation (Ea) for the overall desaturation reaction has been determined for 12∶0 through 19∶0. The Ea values for desaturation of 13∶0 and 16∶0 are markedly lowr than for the other acids. An interaction between the alkyl chain of the substrate and polyunsaturated acids of the microsomal membrane-bound phospholipids is postulated to explain the recurring 3-carbon pattern of the relative reaction rates of the various acyl substrates.


Desaturase Activity Endogenous Fatty Acid TPNH DPNH Acyl Activation 
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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Paulsrud
    • 1
  • Sheila E. Stewart
    • 1
  • Gustav Graff
    • 1
  • Ralph T. Holman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hormel InstituteUniversity of MinnesotaAustin

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