1. The CoA and carnitine esters of 2-bromopalmitate are extremely powerful and specific inhibitors of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. 2. 2-Bromopalmitoyl-CoA, added as such or formed from 2-bromopalmitate, inhibits the carnitine-dependent oxidation of palmitate or palmitoyl-CoA, but not the oxidation of palmitoylcarnitine, by intact liver mitochondria. 3. 2-Bromopalmitoylcarnitine inhibits the oxidation of palmitoylcarnitine as well as that of palmitate or palmitoyl-CoA. It has no effect on succinate oxidation, but inhibits that of pyruvate, 2-oxoglutarate or hexanoate; however, the oxidation of these substrates (but not of palmitate, palmitoyl-CoA or palmitoyl-carnitine) is restored by carnitine. 4. In damaged mitochondria, added 2-bromopalmitoyl-CoA does inhibit palmitoylcarnitine oxidation; pyruvate oxidation is unaffected by the inhibitor alone, but is impaired if palmitoylcarnitine is subsequently added. 5. The findings have been interpreted as follows. 2-Bromopalmitoyl-CoA inactivates (in a carnitine-dependent manner) a pool of carnitine palmitoyltransferase which is accessible to external acyl-CoA. This results in inhibition of palmitate or palmitoyl-CoA oxidation. A second pool of carnitine palmitoyltransferase, inaccessible to added acyl-CoA in intact mitochondria, can generate bromopalmitoyl-CoA within the matrix from external 2-bromopalmitoylcarnitine; this reaction is reversible. Such internal 2-bromopalmitoyl-CoA inactivates long-chain β-oxidation (as does added 2-bromopalmitoyl-CoA if the mitochondria are damaged) and its formation also sequesters intramitochondrial CoA. Since this CoA is shared by pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenases, the oxidation of their substrates is depressed by 2-bromopalmitoylcarnitine, unless free carnitine is available to act as a ‘sink’ for long-chain acyl groups. 6. These effects are compared with those reported for other inhibitors of fatty acid oxidation.

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