Triglyceride oxidation is essentially the oxidation of one of its constituents, fatty acids. It begins in adipocytes with the breakdown - lipolysis - of triglycerides to a fatty acid and diacylglycerol.
The first enzyme in the sequence, triacylglycerol lipase, is saturated and is thus the target for external regulation by hormones. As the release of fatty acids is a major determinant of fatty acid oxidation and ketone body formation, the control of this enzyme is vital - see the submenu.
Further lipases can degrade diacylglycerol to monoacylglycerol and a fatty acid residue. These enzymes are not saturated and so tend not to be influenced by regulatory enzymes.
Once released, fatty acids are free to circulate within lipoprotein complexes or bound to albumin. They enter peripheral tissues for oxidation. Glycerol passes into plasma for oxidation via glycolysis; it may also enter gluconeogenesis.
Last reviewed 03/2021