2013 Volume 89 Issue 8 Pages 370-382
The author focuses on the biological significance of ω-oxidation of fatty acids. Early studies revealed that there is a subsidiary pathway for β-oxidation of fatty acids when β-oxidation is blocked. Many studies demonstrated that the ω-oxidation serves to provide succinyl-CoA for the citric acid cycle and for gluconeogenesis under conditions of starvation and diabetes. Acylglucosylceramides which are composed of linoleic acid, long chain ω-hydroxy fatty acids, eicosasphingenine (or trihydroxyeicosasphingenine) and glucose, are responsible for normal epidermal permeability function in the skin. It is observed that ω- and (ω-1)-oxidation of fatty acids are related to energy metabolism in some laboratory animals such as musk shrews and Mongolian gerbils. Studies confirmed that ω- and (ω-1)-oxidation of fatty acids play crucial roles in the production of insect pheromones of honeybees and in the formation of biopolyesters of higher plants. In addition, the biological significance of ω-oxidation of prostaglandins and leukotrienes is described.
(Communicated by Tamio Yamakawa, M.J.A.)