Inhibition of the overt mitochondrial carnitine palmitoyltransferase by malonyl-CoA is important in the regulation of fatty acid oxidation. In the past, the contribution of peroxisomal carnitine acyltransferase activity to the generation of medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines in the cytoplasm has been ignored. On the basis of marker enzyme levels, we now estimate that peroxisomal palmitoyltransferase activity constitutes about 20% of the peroxisomal plus overt-mitochondrial pool in fed rat liver. When assayed in situ, both the palmitoyltransferase and decanoyltransferase activities of gradient-purified peroxisomes are sensitive to malonyl-CoA, with up to 90% inhibition reached at less than 10 microM-malonyl-CoA. Very similar results were obtained with intact gradient-purified mitochondria from the same livers. In addition, the acyl-CoA substrate chain-length specificity was identical in both the peroxisomes and the mitochondria, with a decanoyltransferase/palmitoyltransferase ratio of 2. Thus the overt carnitine acyltransferase activities in peroxisomes and mitochondria have the same properties. Further, the malonyl-CoA sensitivity of the peroxisomal activity is lost on solubilization, as has been observed for the overt mitochondrial enzyme. It is suggested that malonyl-CoA inhibition of the peroxisomal enzyme as well as of the mitochondrial enzyme is important for the regulation of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation.
A new carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) was purified to homogeneity from bovine liver mitochondria which were 96% free of peroxisomal contamination, as judged by catalase and glutamate dehydrogenase activities. The enzyme is easily removed from mitochondria, without the use of detergent. It is monomeric (Mr 63,500), unlike other preparations of CPT from mitochondria, and is most active with myristoyl-CoA and palmitoyl-CoA. The Km values are between 0.8 and 4 microM for a range of substrates from hexanoyl-CoA to stearoyl-CoA; these are much lower than values reported for other purified CPT preparations. The Km for L-carnitine is 185 microM measured with palmitoyl-CoA, and does not vary greatly with the chain length. This is also lower than the values reported for other CPT preparations, but higher than those cited for the medium-chain transferases. Kinetic and inhibitor studies were consistent with a rapid-equilibrium random-order mechanism. 2-Bromopalmitoyl-CoA, which is an inhibitor of the outer CPT, inhibited the enzyme competitively with palmitoyl-CoA as the variable substrate, when added without preincubation. If the enzyme was preincubated with 2-bromopalmitoyl-CoA and carnitine, the activity did not reappear after gel filtration of the protein. The inhibitor was bound in a 1:1 stoichiometry per subunit of enzyme.