Lesson on the Carnitine Shuttle. Carnitine is an important metabolite derived from our diet or biosynthesized from lysine and methionine. Since the mitochondrial inner membrane is impermeable to long chain fatty acids, carnitine is used as a shuttle molecule (a carrier system) to transport long chain fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix for beta oxidation. Once carnitine has shuttled the fatty acyl chain into the mitochondrial matrix, carnitine can be regenerated and transported back out into the cytosol to be used again for fatty acid transport.
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