Fatty Acid Synthesis

Fatty Acid Synthesis

Fatty acids are long aliphatic hydrocarbon chains that contain a carboxyl group at one end. BOC Sciences offers fatty acid synthesis services utilizing technical expertise and extensive knowledge of fatty acids, and provides the highest quality products for your research to run smoothly.

Fatty acid synthesis is initiated by malonyl-CoAFig 1. Fatty acid synthesis is initiated by malonyl-CoA. (Remize et al., 2021)

Where does Fatty Acid Synthesis Occur?

Fatty acid synthesis occurs primarily in the cytoplasm of cells. This process occurs in specialized organelles of the cell called the cytoplasmic solution or cytoplasm. Fatty acid synthesis requires the synthesis of palmitoleic acid, which is then processed into other different fatty acids. In particular, acetyl coenzyme A, which is the raw material for the synthesis of soft stearic acid, is mainly supplied by glucose catabolism, is produced in the mitochondria, does not freely pass through the inner mitochondrial membrane, and needs to enter the cytoplasm through the citric acid-pyruvic acid cycle.

In addition, some steps of fatty acid synthesis also occur in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), another organelle in the cytoplasm. The initial steps of fatty acid synthesis occur in the cytoplasm, while later steps and modifications may occur in the endoplasmic reticulum.

Fatty Acid Synthesis Enzymes

  • Acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC): This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of acetyl coenzyme A to malonyl coenzyme A.
  • Malonyl coenzyme A transferase: This enzyme facilitates the transfer of malonyl coenzyme A molecules from the cytoplasm to the fatty acid synthase (FAS) complex.
  • Fatty acid synthase (FAS) complex: FAS is a multi-enzyme complex that performs a series of reactions involved in fatty acid synthesis. It consists of several individual enzymes with different functions: ketolipoyl synthase, ketoacyl reductase, dehydrogenase and enoyl reductase.

BOC Sciences' Fatty Acid Synthesis Services

The entire process of fatty acid synthesis involves several steps and enzymatic reactions.

  • Step 1: This step involves the conversion of acetyl coenzyme A to malonyl coenzyme A, which is catalyzed by acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC).
  • Step 2: Malonyl coenzyme A is transferred from the cytoplasm to the FAS complex where fatty acid synthesis occurs.
  • Step 3: The FAS complex catalyzes a series of condensation, reduction, and dehydration reactions to extend the fatty acid chain. A two-carbon unit from malonyl coenzyme A is added to the growing fatty acyl portion of the FAS. This process involves the sequential action of various enzymes within the FAS complex, including ketolipoyl synthase, ketolipoyl reductase, dehydratase, and enoyl reductase.
  • Step 4: Once the two-carbon unit of malonyl coenzyme A is incorporated into the fatty acid chain, the FAS complex is "recharged" by another malonyl portion. This allows the cycle to continue, resulting in the lengthening of the fatty acid chain.
  • Step 5: The cycle of step 4 continues, with each cycle adding a two-carbon group to the growing fatty acid chain of the FAS. For each cycle, one ATP, one acetyl coenzyme A, and two NADPH molecules are consumed.
  • Step 6: After seven rounds of cycling, adding a total of 14 carbons, the FAS complex releases a 16-carbon fatty acid called palmitate.
  • Step 7: Finally, palmitate can be further modified, such as desaturated or extended, to produce a variety of other fatty acids with different carbon chain lengths and degrees of unsaturation.

Types of Fatty Acids that can be Synthesized

  • Saturated fatty acids
  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

At BOC Sciences, we can provide our customers with high-quality fatty acid products as well as a full range of custom fatty acid synthesis services. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Remize M, et al. Microalgae n-3 PUFAs production and use in food and feed industries[J]. Marine drugs, 2021, 19(2): 113.

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