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By Frank D. Gunstone

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Example text

72. 2) and >CHO— (552) hydrogen atoms (Fig. 5). JLJLJJV f e d c b FIG. 5. *H nmr spectrum of methyl linoleate (Bruker WP80, 80 MHz spectrum) CH3(CH2)3CH2CH=CHCH2CH=CHCH2(CH2)4CH2CH2COOCH3 a b d h h f h h h d b c e g The greater sensitivity of 13C nmr spectra to chemical environment make these more informative than XH spectra despite the low abundance of 13C in natural samples. 30 ppm in which additional signals can be distinguished with an instrument of sufficiently high resolution. Further signals are observed in unsaturated esters corresponding to the multiple bonded carbon atoms and to nearby methylene groups.

4. Polyene biosynthesis Polyene acids are important as precursors of prostaglandins and as constituents of membrane lipids (Section E). Plants convert monoenes to polyenes by further desaturation of the distal end of the molecule (between the existing double bond and the co-methyl group), additional cisunsaturated centres being introduced in a methylene-interrupted pattern. 2). 2. 3 Plants convert oleate to linoleate and linolenate and these three unsaturated C 1 8 acids are the most common in the plant kingdom.

During fasting, free acids from the fat depots circulating as albumin complexes are removed by peripheral tissues where they are oxidised or by the liver (~40%) where some are oxidised and some converted to triacylglycerols before being returned to the blood. 2. Bio-oxidation of fatty acids Bio-oxidation of fatty acids serves two different purposes. Most commonly, complete oxidation furnishes energy required for other biological purposes; less commonly, partial oxidation produces other acids required for a particular purpose.

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