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      Dissecting desaturation: plants prove advantageous

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      Trends in Cell Biology

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Fatty acid desaturases play important roles in controlling the physical properties o f membranes and in the synthesis of signal molecules such as prostaglandins and pheromones. Most desaturases are membrane proteins that have been recalcitrant to characterization by conventional biochemical methods. Only one enzyme o f this class has been characterized from animals or fungi. In this context, plants have proved to be useful sources of experimental materials. Substantial progress has been made in characterizing and manipulating nine classes of desaturases that control the fatty acid composition o f both plant membranes and plant storage lipids, which account for approximately -30% of the calories in the human diet.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Trends in Cell Biology
          Trends in Cell Biology
          Elsevier BV
          09628924
          April 1996
          April 1996
          : 6
          : 4
          : 148-153
          Article
          15157478
          © 1996

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