Differential regulation in the heart of mitochondrial carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I muscle and liver isoforms

Mol Cell Biochem. 1998 Mar;180(1-2):27-32.


Carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I (CPT-I) plays a crucial role in regulating cardiac fatty acid oxidation which provides the primary source of energy for cardiac muscle contraction. CPT-I catalyzes the transfer of long chain fatty acids into mitochondria and is recognized as the primary rate controlling step in fatty acid oxidation. Molecular cloning techniques have demonstrated that two CPT-I isoforms exist as genes encoding the 'muscle' and 'liver' enzymes. Regulation of fatty acid oxidation rates depends on both short-term regulation of enzyme activity and long-term regulation of enzyme synthesis. Most early investigations into metabolic control of fatty acid oxidation at the CPT-I step concentrated on the hepatic enzyme which can be inhibited by malonyl-CoA and can undergo dramatic amplification or reduction of its sensitivity to inhibition by malonyl-CoA. The muscle CPT-I is inherently more sensitive to malonyl-CoA inhibition but has not been found to undergo any alteration of its sensitivity. Short-term control of activity of muscle CPT-I is apparently regulated by malonyl-CoA concentration in response to fuel supply (glucose, lactate, pyruvate and ketone bodies). The liver isoform is the only CPT-I enzyme present in the mitochondria of liver, kidney, brain and most other tissues while muscle CPT-I is the sole isoform expressed in skeletal muscle as well as white and brown adipocytes. The heart is unique in that it contains both muscle and liver isoforms. Liver CPT-I is highly expressed in the fetal heart, but at birth its activity begins to decline whereas the muscle isoform, which is very low at birth, becomes the predominant enzyme during postnatal development. In this paper, the differential regulation of the two CPT-I isoforms at the protein and the gene level will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / genetics
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Mitochondria, Heart / enzymology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / enzymology*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase