Wax biosynthesis

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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Waxes are esters of long chain fatty acids and long chain fatty alcohols that play an important role in protecting the skin surface from drying and abrasion. Enzymes that catalyze two reactions of wax biosynthesis have been characterized in humans. FAR1 and FAR2 catalyze the reduction of fatty acids to fatty alcohols in the peroxisome and AWAT1 and AWAT2 catalyze the reaction of fatty alcohols and acyl-CoA in the cytosol to form wax esters. The existence of a transport process, otherwise uncharacterized, to move fatty alcohols from the peroxisome to the cytosol is inferred from the observation that cultured cells that do not normally synthesize waxes can be induced to do so by co-transfection with DNA constructs encoding FAR and AWAT enzymes (Cheng & Russell 2004a,b).

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