In this issue of Cell, Lee et al. (2006) report that the parasite Trypanosoma brucei synthesizes fatty acids in an unconventional way. T. brucei and two other trypanosomes use enzymes called elongases to synthesize myristate, a fourteen carbon (C14) fatty acid essential for pathogenesis. This is an unexpected finding as these enzymes were thought only to elongate already long (C16 or C18) acyl chains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)