Liang Tong Lab at Columbia University

The Carnitine Acyltransferases Project

Carnitine acyltransferases catalyze the exchange between acyl-CoA and acylcarnitines. The enzymes can be divided into three sub-families based on their substrate preferences: carnitine acetyltransferases (CrAT), carnitine octanoyltransferases (CrOT), and carnitine palmitoyltransferases (CPT), with preferences for short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain fatty acids, respectively.

The CPTs have crucial roles in the oxidation of long-chain fatty acids. L-CPT-I and M-CPT-I are located on the outer membrane of the mitochondria, and convert fatty acyl-CoAs to fatty acylcarnitines. Upon translocation into the mitochondria, CPT-II then converts them back to fatty acyl-CoAs, which can then undergo b-oxidation for energy production.

L-CPT-I is a target for the development of drugs against type 2 diabetes. At the same time, an agonist of this enzyme may be efficacious in the control of body weight and obesity

The sequences of the enzymes display signicant homology to each other (35% identity or better), but they do not show any recognizable homology to other proteins in the database.

Major findings from this project

Publications from this project

Funding for this project

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