In order to be well prepared for any situation, one should always expect the unexpected. This even holds true in the complex realm of biochemistry. Schoors et al. embodied this quite well in their paper entitled “Fatty acid carbon is essential for dNTP synthesis in endothelial cells” (doi: 10.1038/nature14362). The research team embarked with the goal of better understanding how metabolism of endothelial cells affect the production and migration of blood vessels. Their method was to deactivate the crucial shuttling enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), the focal point of fatty acid oxidation (FAO), and investigate the consequences of this action. They were able to predict some of the expected results, but unpredictable observations sprouted into the picture.
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