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Triglyceride cycling enables modification of stored fatty acids.

Nature metabolism

Authors: Klaus Wunderling, Jelena Zurkovic, Fabian Zink, Lars Kuerschner, Christoph Thiele

Triglyceride cycling is the process of continuous degradation and re-synthesis of triglyceride in cellular stores. We show in 3T3-L1 adipocytes that triglycerides are subject to rapid turnover and re-arrangement of fatty acids with an estimated half-life of 2-4 h. We develop a tracing technology that can simultaneously and quantitatively follow the metabolism of multiple fatty acids to study the triglyceride futile substrate cycle directly and with molecular species resolution. Our approach is based on alkyne fatty acid tracers and mass spectrometry. The triglyceride cycling is connected to modification of released fatty acids by elongation and desaturation. Through cycling and modification, saturated fatty acids are slowly converted to monounsaturated fatty acids, and linoleic acid to arachidonic acid. We conclude that triglyceride cycling renders stored fatty acids accessible for metabolic alteration. The overall process facilitates cellular adjustments to the stored fatty acid pool to meet changing needs of the cell.

© 2023. The Author(s).

PMID: 37012495

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