The mechanism of long-chain fatty acid activation catalysed by highly purified microsomal palmitoyl-CoA synthetase was investigated. The kinetics of the overall reaction were found to conform to the Bi Uni Uni Bi Ping Pong mechanism. 18O was transferred from [18O]palmitate to AMP and palmitoyl-CoA exclusively. The enzyme intermediate formed appeared to consist of enzyme-bound palmitate; this formation occurred only in the presence of ATP. However, the involvement of palmitoyl-AMP in the reaction catalysed by the purified enzyme has proved difficult to establish.

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