EC - Acyl-CoA 6-desaturase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
acyl-CoA 6-desaturase
Other names:
Δ6-acyl CoA desaturase
Δ6-fatty acyl-CoA desaturase
fatty acid 6-desaturase
fatty acid Δ6-desaturase
linoleate desaturase
linoleic acid desaturase
linoleic desaturase
linoleoyl CoA desaturase
linoleoyl-coenzyme A desaturase
long-chain fatty acid Δ6-desaturase
linoleoyl-CoA,hydrogen-donor:oxygen oxidoreductase
FADS2 (gene name)
linoleoyl-CoA desaturase
Systematic name:
acyl-CoA,ferrocytochrome b5:oxygen oxidoreductase (6,7 cis-dehydrogenating)




An iron protein. The enzyme introduces a cis double bond at carbon 6 of acyl-CoAs. It is a front-end desaturase, introducing the new double bond between a pre-existing double bond and the carboxyl-end of the fatty acid. The human enzyme has a broad substrate range. It also acts on palmitoyl-CoA, generating sapienoyl-CoA [4], and on (9Z,12Z,15Z,18Z,21Z)-tetracosa-9,12,15,18,21-pentaenoyl-CoA, converting it to (6Z,9Z,12Z,15Z,18Z,21Z)-tetracosa-6,9,12,15,18,21-hexaenoyl-CoA as part of a pathway that produces docosahexaenoate [3]. The enzyme contains a cytochrome b5 domain that is assumed to act in vivo as the electron donor to the active site of the desaturase.

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB
Gene Ontology: GO:0016213
CAS Registry Number: 9014-34-0
UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot: (14) [show] [UniProt]


  1. Okayasu, T., Nagao, M., Ishibashi, T. and Imai, Y.
    Purification and partial characterization of linoleoyl-CoA desaturase from rat liver microsomes.
    Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 206 : 21-28 (1981). [PMID: 7212717]
  2. Cho, H. P., Nakamura, M. T., Clarke, S. D.
    Cloning, expression, and nutritional regulation of the mammalian Delta-6 desaturase.
    J. Biol. Chem. 274 : 471-477 (1999). [PMID: 9867867]
  3. Sprecher, H.
    Metabolism of highly unsaturated n-3 and n-6 fatty acids.
    Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1486 : 219-231 (2000). [PMID: 10903473]
  4. Ge, L., Gordon, J. S., Hsuan, C., Stenn, K., Prouty, S. M.
    Identification of the delta-6 desaturase of human sebaceous glands: expression and enzyme activity.
    J. Invest. Dermatol. 120 : 707-714 (2003). [PMID: 12713571]
  5. Domergue, F., Abbadi, A., Zahringer, U., Moreau, H., Heinz, E.
    In vivo characterization of the first acyl-CoA Delta6-desaturase from a member of the plant kingdom, the microalga Ostreococcus tauri.
    Biochem. J. 389 : 483-490 (2005). [PMID: 15769252]

[EC created 1986 as EC, transferred 2000 to EC, modified 2015]