Biosynthesis of Polyenoic Fatty Acids in Human Whole Blood


IT has been known for some time now that human blood cells are able to incorporate acetate-1-14C into blood lipids1,2. James et al.2,3 found the incorporation of radioactive acetate into the saturated as well as into the unsaturated fatty acids of blood lipids, including the ‘essential fatty acids’. Based on these experiments, the authors concluded that a total synthesis of essential fatty acids in human blood would be possible. Klenk4 and Mead et al.5 showed that the C20- and C22-polyenoic fatty acids in rat liver originate from exogenous linoleic and linolenic acids by extension of the carbon chain by acetate units starting at the carboxylic group. In addition, new double bonds are introduced in the divinylmethanerhythm in direction towards the acid group. This mechanism is valid for polyenoic acid synthesis in the human liver6 as well as in the descending classes of vertebrates7.

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LEUPOLD, F., KREMER, G. Biosynthesis of Polyenoic Fatty Acids in Human Whole Blood. Nature 191, 805–806 (1961).

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