AbstractThe incorporation and metabolism of delta-6-desaturase substrate and product, [1-14C]-linoleic (18:2n-6) and [1-14C]-gamma- linolenic acid (18:3n-6), was examined in NIH-3T3 cells and the DT subclone which differs only in the presence of the v-Ki-ras oncogene. Similar amounts of post delta-6 and delta-5 desaturase metabolites were found in both cell lines indicating that the activity of these important enzymes of fatty acid metabolism was not affected by the expression of the oncogene. However, measurable quantities of the direct elongation product of 18:2n-6, 20:2n-6, were only found in DT cells. Radiolabel was recovered predominantly from the phospholipid fraction at low fatty acid concentrations, whereas neutral lipid labelling occurred when higher concentrations of exogenous fatty acid were present. This effect was most pronounced in DT cells and may result from the presence of the activated ras oncogene.
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