Peroxisomal acyl-CoA synthetases

Paul A. Watkins, Jessica M. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Peroxisomes carry out many essential lipid metabolic functions. Nearly all of these functions require that an acyl group-either a fatty acid or the acyl side chain of a steroid derivative-be thioesterified to coenzyme A (CoA) for subsequent reactions to proceed. This thioesterification, or "activation", reaction, catalyzed by enzymes belonging to the acyl-CoA synthetase family, is thus central to cellular lipid metabolism. However, despite our rather thorough understanding of peroxisomal metabolic pathways, surprisingly little is known about the specific peroxisomal acyl-CoA synthetases that participate in these pathways. Of the 26 acyl-CoA synthetases encoded by the human and mouse genomes, only a few have been reported to be peroxisomal, including ACSL4, SLC27A2, and SLC27A4. In this review, we briefly describe the primary peroxisomal lipid metabolic pathways in which fatty acyl-CoAs participate. Then, we examine the evidence for presence and functions of acyl-CoA synthetases in peroxisomes, much of which was obtained before the existence of multiple acyl-CoA synthetase isoenzymes was known. Finally, we discuss the role(s) of peroxisome-specific acyl-CoA synthetase isoforms in lipid metabolism. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Metabolic Functions and Biogenesis of Peroxisomes in Health and Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1420
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Acyl-CoA synthetase
  • Fatty acid activation
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Peroxisome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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