EC - Acyl-CoA 11-(Z)-desaturase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
acyl-CoA 11-(Z)-desaturase
Other names:
Δ11 desaturase
fatty acid Δ11-desaturase
Δ11 fatty acid desaturase
Δ11-palmitoyl-CoA desaturase
acyl-CoA,hydrogen donor:oxygen Δ11-oxidoreductase
Δ11-fatty-acid desaturase
Systematic name:
acyl-CoA,ferrocytochrome b5:oxygen oxidoreductase (11,12 cis-dehydrogenating)



The enzyme introduces a cis double bond at position C-11 of saturated fatty acyl-CoAs. In moths the enzyme participates in the biosynthesis of their sex pheromones. The enzyme from the marine microalga Thalassiosira pseudonana is specific for palmitoyl-CoA (16:0) [4], that from the leafroller moth Choristoneura rosaceana desaturates myristoyl-CoA (14:0) [5], while that from the moth Spodoptera littoralis accepts both substrates [1]. The enzyme contains three histidine boxes that are conserved in all desaturases [2]. It is membrane-bound, and contains a cytochrome b5-like domain at the N-terminus that serves as the electron donor for 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:0017105


  1. Martinez, T., Fabrias, G., Camps, F.
    Sex pheromone biosynthetic pathway in Spodoptera littoralis and its activation by a neurohormone.
    J. Biol. Chem. 265: 1381-1387 (1990). [PMID: 2295634]
  2. Rodriguez, F., Hallahan, D.L., Pickett, J.A. and Camps, F.
    Characterization of the Δ11-palmitoyl-CoA-desaturase from Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae).
    Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 22: 143-148 (1992).
  3. Navarro, I., Font, I., Fabrias, G. and Camps, F.
    Stereospecificity of the (E)- and (Z)-11 myristoyl desaturases in the biosynthesis of Spodoptera littoralis sex pheromone.
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 119: 11335-11336 (1997).
  4. Tonon, T., Harvey, D., Qing, R., Li, Y., Larson, T.R. and Graham, I.A.
    Identification of a fatty acid Δ11-desaturase from the microalga Thalassiosira pseudonana.
    FEBS Lett. 563: 28-34 (2004). [PMID: 15063718]
  5. Hao, G., O'Connor, M., Liu, W. and Roelofs, W.L.
    Characterization of Z/E11- and Z9-desaturases from the obliquebanded leafroller moth, Choristoneura rosaceana.
    J. Insect Sci. 2: 26 (2002). [PMID: 15455060]

[EC created 2008 (EC created 2000, incorporated 2015)]