Fatty acids with double bonds at odd-numbered positions such as oleic acid can enter beta-oxidation via a pathway relying solely on the auxiliary enzyme Delta(3)-Delta(2)-enoyl-CoA isomerase, termed the isomerase-dependent pathway. Two novel alternative pathways have recently been postulated to exist in mammals, and these additionally depend on Delta(3,5)-Delta(2,4)-dienoyl-CoA isomerase (di-isomerase-dependent) or on Delta(3,5)-Delta(2,4)-dienoyl-CoA isomerase and 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase (reductase-dependent). We report the identification of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae oleic acid-inducible DCI1 (YOR180c) gene encoding peroxisomal di-isomerase. Enzyme assays conducted on soluble extracts derived from yeast cells overproducing Dci1p using 3,5,8,11,14-eicosapentenoyl-CoA as substrate demonstrated a specific di-isomerase activity of 6 nmol x min(-1) per mg of protein. Similarly enriched extracts from eci1Delta cells lacking peroxisomal 3,2-isomerase additionally contained an intrinsic 3,2-isomerase activity that could generate 3, 5,8,11,14-eicosapentenoyl-CoA from 2,5,8,11,14-eicosapentenoyl-CoA but not metabolize trans-3-hexenoyl-CoA. Amplification of this intrinsic activity replaced Eci1p since it restored growth of the eci1Delta strain on petroselinic acid for which di-isomerase is not required whereas Eci1p is. Heterologous expression in yeast of rat di-isomerase resulted in a peroxisomal protein that was enzymatically active but did not re-establish growth of the eci1Delta mutant on oleic acid. A strain devoid of Dci1p grew on oleic acid to wild-type levels, whereas one lacking both Eci1p and Dci1p grew as poorly as the eci1Delta mutant. Hence, we reasoned that yeast di-isomerase does not additionally represent a physiological 3,2-isomerase and that Dci1p and the postulated alternative pathways in which it is entrained are dispensable for degrading oleic acid.
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