The Mammalian Malonyl-CoA Synthetase ACSF3 Is Required for Mitochondrial Protein Malonylation and Metabolic Efficiency

Caitlyn E. Bowman, Susana Rodriguez, Ebru S. Selen Alpergin, Michelle G. Acoba, Liang Zhao, Thomas Hartung, Steven M. Claypool, Paul A. Watkins, Michael J. Wolfgang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Malonyl-coenzyme A (malonyl-CoA) is a central metabolite in mammalian fatty acid biochemistry generated and utilized in the cytoplasm; however, little is known about noncanonical organelle-specific malonyl-CoA metabolism. Intramitochondrial malonyl-CoA is generated by a malonyl-CoA synthetase, ACSF3, which produces malonyl-CoA from malonate, an endogenous competitive inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase. To determine the metabolic requirement for mitochondrial malonyl-CoA, ACSF3 knockout (KO) cells were generated by CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing. ACSF3 KO cells exhibited elevated malonate and impaired mitochondrial metabolism. Unbiased and targeted metabolomics analysis of KO and control cells in the presence or absence of exogenous malonate revealed metabolic changes dependent on either malonate or malonyl-CoA. While ACSF3 was required for the metabolism and therefore detoxification of malonate, ACSF3-derived malonyl-CoA was specifically required for lysine malonylation of mitochondrial proteins. Together, these data describe an essential role for ACSF3 in dictating the metabolic fate of mitochondrial malonate and malonyl-CoA in mammalian metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-684.e4
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 22 2017


  • ACSF3
  • CRISPR/Cas
  • SIRT5
  • acetyl-CoA
  • malonate
  • malonyl-CoA synthetase
  • malonylation
  • metabolomics
  • mitochondrial metabolism
  • succinylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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