We examined the potential of overt carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT I) to control the hepatic catabolism of palmitoyl-CoA in suckling and adult rats, using a conceptually simplified model of fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis. By applying top-down control analysis, we quantified the control exerted by CPT I over total carbon flux from palmitoyl-CoA to ketone bodies and carbon dioxide. Our results show that in both suckling and adult rat, CPT I exerts very significant control over the pathways under investigation. However, under the sets of conditions we studied, less control is exerted by CPT I over total carbon flux in mitochondria isolated from suckling rats than in those isolated from adult rats. Furthermore the flux control coefficient of CPT I changes with malonyl-CoA concentration and ATP turnover rate.

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