1. The synthesis of pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine, cyclopropanecarbonyl-l-carnitine and cyclobutanecarbonyl-l-carnitine is described. 2. Pent-4-enoate strongly inhibits palmitoyl-l-carnitine oxidation in coupled but not in uncoupled mitochondria. Pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine strongly inhibits palmitoyl-l-carnitine oxidation in uncoupled mitochondria. Prior intramitochondrial formation of pent-4-enoyl-CoA is therefore necessary for inhibition. 3. There was a small self-limiting pulse of oxidation of pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine during which the ability to inhibit the oxidation of subsequently added palmitoyl-l-carnitine developed. 4. Pent-4-enoate and pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine are equally effective inhibitors of the oxidation of all even-chain acylcarnitines of chain length C4–C16. Pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine also inhibits the oxidation of pyruvate and of 2-oxoglutarate. 5. Pent-4-enoate strongly inhibits the oxidation of palmitate but not that of octanoate. This is presumably due to competition between octanoate and pent-4-enoate for medium-chain acyl-CoA ligase. 6. There was less inhibition of the oxidation of pyruvate by pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine, and of palmitoyl-l-carnitine by cyclopropanecarbonyl-l-carnitine, after pre-incubation with 10mm-arsenate. This suggests that these inhibitions were caused either by depletion of free CoA or by increase of acyl-CoA concentrations, since arsenate deacylates intramitochondrial acyl-CoA. There was little effect on the inhibition of palmitoyl-l-carnitine oxidation by pent-4-enoyl-l-carnitine. 7. Penta-2,4-dienoate strongly inhibited palmitoyl-l-carnitine oxidation in coupled mitochondria; acrylate only inhibited slightly. 8. Pent-4-enoate (0.1mm) caused a rapid and almost complete decrease in free CoA and a large increase in acid-soluble acyl-CoA when incubated with coupled mitochondria. Cyclopropanecarboxylate caused a similar decrease in CoA, with an equivalent rise in acid-soluble acyl-CoA concentrations. n-Pentanoate caused extensive lowering of CoA and a large increase in acid-soluble acyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA concentrations. Octanoate caused a 50% lowering of CoA and an increase in acid-soluble acyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA concentrations. 9. Cyclopropanecarboxylate and n-pentanoate were less potent inhibitors of palmitate oxidation than was pent-4-enoate. 10. It is concluded that pent-4-enoate causes a specific inhibition of β-oxidation after the formation intramitochondrially of its metabolites.

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