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6.33: De novo Lipogenesis (Fatty Acid Synthesis)

De novo in Latin means "from the beginning." Thus, de novo lipogenesis is the synthesis of fatty acids, beginning with acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA has to first move out of the mitochondria, where it is then converted to malonyl-CoA (3 carbons). Malonyl-CoA then is combined with another acetyl-CoA to form a 4 carbon fatty acid (1 carbon is given off as CO2). The addition of 2 carbons is repeated through a similar process 7 times to produce a 16 carbon fatty acid1.

Figure 6.331 Fatty acid synthesis2

Most fatty acids synthesized will be esterified into triglycerides for storage.


  1. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. (2008) Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.