Elongation of (very) long chain fatty acids (Mus musculus)

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12omega 10 (or n-10) family(delta7,11,14)Delta-6Double bondDelta-5Double bondDelta-8Double bondDIETC18:2C16:1Elovl6FasC20:2C18:2Excess carbohydratesFads2C18:1C16:0C18:0C20:0C16:1C18:1C16:2C18:3C20:3C18:2C20:2C20:3C22:3C18:1C20:1C22:1C24:1omega 9 (or n-9) familyomega 6 (or n-6) familyC22:0C24:0C26:0C28:0C30:0Saturated fatty acidsElovl5Elovl5Fads1Elovl3Elovl3Elovl3SCD3SCD1SCD2SCD4Fads2 ?Fads2SCD2SCD4SCD1Elovl3Elovl1Elovl7Elovl6Elovl3Elovl1Elovl7Elovl3Elovl1Elovl7Elovl3Elovl1Elovl4C18:3C18:3C18:3C20:3C20:3C20:4C22:4C24:4C24:5C22:5C34:5C18:4C20:4C20:5C22:5C24:5C24:6C22:6C20:3C34:6Elovl5Fads2delta-5 ? Elovl5?Fads1Elovl5Elovl2Elovl2Fads2Elovl4Elovl2Perox. beta-oxElovl4Elovl2Fads2Elovl5Elovl5Fads2omega 7 (or n-7) familyomega 3 (or n-3) familyDelta-9Double bondDelta-9Double bondDelta-6Double bondDelta-6Double bondDelta-6Double bondDelta-5Double bondDelta-6Double bondDelta-6Double bond????Elovl6Elovl522


This pathway depicts the key steps in (very) long-chain fatty acid biosynthesis, belonging to the n-10, 9 and 7 series (counting first double bond from the methyl side).

These are mainly synthesised from palmitic acid (C16:0), which is produced by FAS (fatty acid synthase). The n-6 and 3 series can only be obtained from precursors in food. The elongation steps (addition of carbohydrates, increasing length of tail) are carried out by several Elovl-proteins.

The desaturation (removal of hydrogens, creating double bonds within the tail) are possible by SCDs and Fads (where is position of the double bound addition is indicated after delta, counting from the COOH side).

Quality Tags

Ontology Terms



  1. Guillou H, Zadravec D, Martin PG, Jacobsson A; ''The key roles of elongases and desaturases in mammalian fatty acid metabolism: Insights from transgenic mice.''; Prog Lipid Res, 2010 PubMed Europe PMC
  2. Vriens K, Christen S, Parik S, Broekaert D, Yoshinaga K, Talebi A, Dehairs J, Escalona-Noguero C, Schmieder R, Cornfield T, Charlton C, Romero-Pérez L, Rossi M, Rinaldi G, Orth MF, Boon R, Kerstens A, Kwan SY, Faubert B, Méndez-Lucas A, Kopitz CC, Chen T, Fernandez-Garcia J, Duarte JAG, Schmitz AA, Steigemann P, Najimi M, Hägebarth A, Van Ginderachter JA, Sokal E, Gotoh N, Wong KK, Verfaillie C, Derua R, Munck S, Yuneva M, Beretta L, DeBerardinis RJ, Swinnen JV, Hodson L, Cassiman D, Verslype C, Christian S, Grünewald S, Grünewald TGP, Fendt SM; ''Evidence for an alternative fatty acid desaturation pathway increasing cancer plasticity.''; Nature, 2019 PubMed Europe PMC


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103499view14:31, 6 March 2019DeSlAdded proteins for C16:1 -> C18:1 omega 10 conversion.
102579view13:42, 9 January 2019DeSlAdded excess carbohydrates Node as substrate for C16:0
102578view13:37, 9 January 2019DeSlAdded SMILES for Omega-3 series.
102577view13:23, 9 January 2019DeSlAdded SMILES in comments for Omega 6 series.
102576view13:07, 9 January 2019DeSlAnnotated saturated fatty acid serie.
102575view12:56, 9 January 2019DeSlAdded SMILES in comments for omega 9 and 7 family.
102574view12:43, 9 January 2019DeSlAnnotated missing Elovl5+6
102573view12:40, 9 January 2019DeSlAdded delta information as text lables (iso in the protein nodes).
102571view13:27, 8 January 2019DeSlModified description
102570view13:25, 8 January 2019DeSlAnnotated SCD3
102569view13:23, 8 January 2019DeSlAnnotated SCD series (except nr3)
102568view13:19, 8 January 2019DeSlAdded "aka name" in comment for C(18:1)n-10
102567view13:07, 8 January 2019DeSlAnnotated more lipids (with names from Fig.1 of main publication).
102558view16:00, 7 January 2019DeSlOntology Term : 'fatty acid metabolic pathway' added !
102557view16:00, 7 January 2019DeSlOntology Term : 'fatty acid biosynthetic pathway' added !
102556view15:59, 7 January 2019DeSlOntology Term : 'fatty acid elongation pathway' added !
102555view15:57, 7 January 2019DeSlModified description
102554view15:52, 7 January 2019DeSlLayout changes
102551view15:50, 7 January 2019DeSlAdded background for omage 6 and 3 compounds
102550view15:15, 7 January 2019DeSlAdded proteins for bottom half
102549view15:00, 7 January 2019DeSlAdded bottom half of figure
102548view14:49, 7 January 2019DeSlAdded SMILES for some lipids in the comment section (will annotate later with specific ID).
102547view13:50, 7 January 2019DeSlModified description
102546view13:47, 7 January 2019DeSlAnnotated more proteins
102545view13:22, 7 January 2019DeSlAnnotated Elovl proteins
102544view13:17, 7 January 2019DeSlNew pathway

External references


View all...
NameTypeDatabase referenceComment
C16:0MetaboliteCHEBI:15756 (ChEBI) AKA Palmitic Acid
C16:1MetaboliteQ2823304 (Wikidata)
  • CCCCCCCCCC=CCCCCC(=O)O C16:1 (omega-10)
  • AKA Sapienic acid
C16:1MetaboliteQ412366 (Wikidata)
  • CCCCCCCCC=CCCCCCC(=O)O C16:1 (omega-9)
  • AKA Palmitoleic acid
C16:2MetaboliteCCCCCCC=CCC=CCCCCC(=O)O C16:2 (omega-7)(delta6)
C18:0MetaboliteQ209685 (Wikidata) AKA Stearic acid
C18:1MetaboliteQ207688 (Wikidata) AKA oleic acid
C18:1MetaboliteQ27116670 (Wikidata)
  • CCCCCCCCC=CCCCCCCCC(=O)O C18:1 (omega-9)
  • AKA Vaccenic acid
  • Annotated as cis/trans group.
  • CCCCCCCCCC=CCCCCCCC(=O)O C18:1 (omega-10)
  • aka sebaleic acid or cis-8-octadecanoate (names unknown in Wikidata!)
C18:2MetaboliteCCCCCCCCC=CCC=CCCCCC(=O)O C18:2 (omega-9)(delta6)
C18:2MetaboliteQ407426 (Wikidata) AKA Linoleic Acid
C18:3MetaboliteCCCCCC=CCC=CCCC=CCCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C18:3 (omega 6)(delta5?)
C18:3MetaboliteQ256502 (Wikidata) AKA alpha-linolenic acid
C18:4MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCC(=O)O C18:4(omega 3)(delta6)
C20:0MetaboliteCHEBI:28822 (ChEBI) AKA Arachidic acid
C20:1MetaboliteQ5516412 (Wikidata)
  • AKA gadoleic acid and eicosenoic acid
  • CCCCCCCCC=CCCCCCCCCCC(=O)O C20:1 (omega-9) aka eicosenoic acid
C20:2MetaboliteCCCCCCCCC=CCC=CCCCCCCC(=O)O C20:2 (omega-9)(delta6)
C20:3MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCCCC(=O)O C20:3(omega 3)
C20:3MetaboliteQ416610 (Wikidata)
  • AKA Mead acid
  • CCCCCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCC(=O)O C20:2 (omega-9)(delta6)(delta5)
  • CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCC(=O)O C20:4(omega 3)(delta6)
  • Following other route: CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCC(=O)O C20:4(omega 3)(delta8)
C20:4MetaboliteQ407699 (Wikidata)
  • AKA arachidonic acid
  • CCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C20:4 (omega 6)(delta8)(delta5)
C20:5MetaboliteQ409990 (Wikidata)
  • AKA eicosapentaenoic acid
  • CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCC(=O)O C20:5(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)
C22:0MetaboliteQ422590 (Wikidata) AKA Behenic Acid
C22:1MetaboliteQ413531 (Wikidata)
  • AKA Erucic acid
C22:3MetaboliteCCCCCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCC(=O)O C22:2 (omega-9)(delta6)(delta5)
C22:4MetaboliteCCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C22:4 (omega 6)(delta8)(delta5)
C22:5MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCC(=O)O C22:5(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)
C22:5MetaboliteQ2823253 (Wikidata)
  • AKA Docosapentaenoic acid
  • CCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C22:5 (omega 6)(delta8)(delta5)(delta6)
C22:6MetaboliteQ423345 (Wikidata)
  • AKA docosahexaenoic acid (currently annotated with all-cis version of lipid, however there is an all trans version: Q27094656)
  • CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCC(=O)O C22:6(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)(delta6)
C24:0MetaboliteQ422634 (Wikidata) AKA Lignoceric acid
C24:1MetaboliteCCCCCCCCC=CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC(=O)O C24:1 (omega-9)
C24:4MetaboliteCCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C24:4 (omega 6)(delta8)(delta5)
C24:5MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCC(=O)O C24:5(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)
C24:6MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCC(=O)O C24:6(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)(delta6)
C26:0MetaboliteQ903348 (Wikidata)
C28:0MetaboliteQ911196 (Wikidata) AKA montanic acid (not mentioned in main article).
C30:0MetaboliteQ420731 (Wikidata) AKA melissic acid or triacontanoic acid not mentioned in main article).
C34:5MetaboliteCCCCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC(=O)O Linoleic Acid; C34:5 (omega 6)(delta8)(delta5)(delta6)
C34:6MetaboliteCCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCC=CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC(=O)O C34:6(omega 3)(delta6)(delta5)(delta6)
Elovl1ProteinENSMUSG00000006390 (Ensembl)
Elovl2GeneProductENSMUSG00000021364 (Ensembl)
Elovl3ProteinENSMUSG00000038754 (Ensembl)
Elovl4GeneProductENSMUSG00000032262 (Ensembl)
Elovl5ProteinENSMUSG00000032349 (Ensembl)
Elovl6ProteinENSMUSG00000041220 (Ensembl)
Elovl7ProteinENSMUSG00000021696 (Ensembl)
Excess carbohydratesMetaboliteQ11358 (Wikidata)
Fads1ProteinENSMUSG00000010663 (Ensembl)
Fads2 ?ProteinENSMUSG00000024665 (Ensembl) Annotated for gene, since:"Fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) is encoded by the FADS2 gene, the associated enzyme is sometimes known as FADS2 as well.[5][6] Its main associated enzyme is Delta 6 desaturase (D6D) however the human enzyme been shown to also catalyze some delta-8 and delta-4 desaturases in spite of naming conventions."(source: Wikipedia)
Fads2ProteinENSMUSG00000024665 (Ensembl) Annotated for gene, since:"Fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) is encoded by the FADS2 gene, the associated enzyme is sometimes known as FADS2 as well.[5][6] Its main associated enzyme is Delta 6 desaturase (D6D) however the human enzyme been shown to also catalyze some delta-8 and delta-4 desaturases in spite of naming conventions."(source: Wikipedia)
FasGeneProductENSMUSG00000025153 (Ensembl)
Perox. beta-oxProtein
SCD1ProteinENSMUSG00000037071 (Ensembl)
SCD2ProteinP13011 (Uniprot-TrEMBL)
SCD3ProteinQ99PL7 (Uniprot-TrEMBL)
SCD4ProteinQ6T707 (Uniprot-TrEMBL)
delta-5 ? ProteinENSMUSG00000010663 (Ensembl)

Annotated Interactions

No annotated interactions

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