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By Gordon L. Atkins
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5a summarizes the process. The three major tissues which take up lipoproteins are adipose tissue, and skeletal and cardiac muscle. At the endothelial surfaces of these tissues lipoprotein lipase hydrolyses the triacylglycerols within the complex. Free fatty acids are taken up by the cells and the other components, glycerol and the remains of the VLDL, are returned to the liver (Fig. 5b). In adipose tissue the lipoprotein lipase is sensitive to insulin and is active only during the absorption of food, so that the free fatty acids are channelled into storage as triacylglycerols.
The other two important precursors for gluconeogenesis are glycerol (from triacylglycerol hydrolysis) and lactate (from anaerobic glycolysis in other tissues). Lactate is not, however, a net source of glucose. 31 glucose free fatty acids η acyl coenzyme Â glucose6-phosphate l fructose diphosphate C3 pyruvate CO2 ammo acids Fig. 2 Free fatty acid synthesis This pathway is different to that for /3-oxidation and occurs in the cytoplasm of cells. The starting point is acetyl coenzyme A and part of the sequence has similar types of reaction to /3-oxidation except that NADPH provides the hydrogen for the reductive steps.
It generally uses free fatty acids and ketone bodies in proportion to their particular concentrations in blood. Glucose is an important fuel only during hyperglycaemia and when the tissue becomes anaerobic. In this latter situation only glucose can be used and the lactate formed must be released because muscle lacks certain enzymes for gluconeogenesis. It is also the major source of amino acids, from protein, during fasting and releases these chiefly as alanine and glutamine. Storage of energy also occurs, mainly as glycogen and with smaller amounts as triacylglycerols.