beta-oxidationmedical dictionary

<biochemistry> The oxidative breakdown of fatty acids into acetyl-coenzyme A by repeated oxidation at the beta-carbon atom.

Oxidation of the beta-carbon (carbon 3) of a fatty acid causes the formation of the beta-keto (beta-oxo) acid analog. This is of importance in fatty acid catabolism, the entire pathway for the catabolism of saturated fatty acids containing an even number of carbon atoms. Beta-oxidation is a part of this pathway and acetyl-CoA is a major product of this pathway.

(05 Mar 2000)