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Biochemical Pathways

Fatty Acid Breakdown (Carnitine Shuttle)
View this Fatty Acid Breakdown (Carnitine Shuttle) mnemonic and other USMLE mnemonics in the Biochemical Pathways playlist.

Fatty Acid Breakdown (Carnitine Shuttle)

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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.