1. Rat liver microsomal stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity was shown to be stimulated by both bovine serum albumin and a basic cytoplasmic protein from rat liver. 2. Partially purified desaturase is unaffected by either of these two proteins. 3. Bovine serum albumin appears to exert its effect on the crude system by protecting the desaturase substrate, stearoly-CoA, from the action of endogenous thiolesterases. 4. By using partially purified enzyme preparations, it was possible to establish the substate specificity of the delta9-fatty acyl-CoA desaturase with the C14, C15, C16, C17, C18 and C19 fatty acyl-CoA substrates. Maximum enzyme activity was shown with stearoyl-CoA decreasing with both palmitoyl-CoA and nonadecanoyl-CoA, as reported previously for free fatty acids. 5. Both cytochrome b5 and NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase (EC 22.214.171.124) are required for these studies and a method is described for the purification of homogeneous preparations of detergent-isolated cytochrome b5 from rat liver. 6. From amino acid analyses, a comparison was made of the hydrophobicity of the membrane portion of cytochrome b5 with the hydrophobicity reported for stearoyl-CoA desaturase. The close resemblance of the two values suggested that unlike cytochrome b5 and its reductase, the stearoyl-CoA desaturase may be largely buried in the endoplasmic reticulum.
- © 1977 London: The Biochemical Society