Medicine & USMLE

Fatty Acid Breakdown (Carnitine Shuttle)

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Biochemical Pathways
  1. Glycolysis
  2. Citric Acid Cycle (TCA Cycle)
  3. Electron Transport Chain (ETC)
  4. Cori Cycle
  5. De Novo Purine Synthesis
  6. De Novo Pyrimidine Synthesis
  7. Purine Salvage
  8. Purine Excretion
  9. Ethanol Metabolism
  10. Pyruvate Metabolism
  11. HMP Shunt (Pentose Phosphate Pathway)
  12. Galactose Metabolism
  13. Sorbitol (Polyol) Pathway
  14. Urea Cycle
  15. Alanine (Cahill) Cycle
  16. Catecholamine Synthesis & Breakdown
  17. Homocysteine Metabolism
  18. Fatty Acid Synthesis (Citrate Shuttle)
  19. Fatty Acid Breakdown (Carnitine Shuttle)
  20. Propionic Acid Pathway
  21. Fructose Metabolism
  22. Regulation by Fructose-2,6-Bisphosphate (F-2,6-BP)
  23. Glycogenesis
  24. Glycogenolysis

Fatty Acid Breakdown is a biochemical pathway involving the Carnitine Shuttle, used to metabolize fatty acids into molecules that can be harnessed for energy. This process usually occurs in the liver.

The pathway begins with fatty acids and coenzyme A (CoA), which are combined to form acyl-CoA. This Acyl-CoA is then shuttled via carnitine into the mitochondrial matrix, a process that can be inhibited by high levels of malonyl-CoA.

Inside the mitochondrial matrix, acyl-CoA dehydrogenase performs beta-oxidation, converting acyl-CoA into acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is a versatile molecule used to produce ketone bodies for export, or ATP via the Kreb’s Cycle for intracellular use.

Find Fatty Acid Breakdown and more Biochemical Pathways among Pixorize's visual mnemonics for the USMLE Step 1 and NBME Shelf Exams.