Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

2 + 2 = 5

In the August 31st issue of Nature, there’s a short ‘picture story’ I wrote about a recent Cell paper from Lee et al. Those authors found that in Trypanosoma brucei (the parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis) the fatty acid myristate is not made by type I or type II fatty acid synthases, but is instead made by a series of enzymes called elongases. These enzymes extend the fatty acid chain, adding two carbon atoms at a time to a fatty acid that is attached to coenzyme A. Though more work is needed to explore how these enzymes function in vivo, the authors believe it may be possible to develop new anti-parasitic drugs that target these elongases. 


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