A study of the fine structural localization of the acyltransferases of the monoglyceride and α-glycerophosphate pathways for triglyceride synthesis in the intestinal absorptive cell is reported. Glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue was found to synthesize diglyceride and triglyceride from monopalmitin and palmityl CoA, and parallel morphological studies showed the appearance of lipid droplets in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum of the absorptive cell. Glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue also synthesized triglyceride from α-glycerophosphate, although this enzyme system was more susceptible to fixation than the monoglyceride pathway acyltransferases. Cytochemical methods for the localization of free CoA were based (a) on the formation of the insoluble lanthanium mercaptide of CoA and (b) on the reduction of ferricyanide by CoA to yield ferrocyanide which forms an insoluble precipitate with manganous ions. By these methods the monoglyceride pathway acyltransferases were found to be located mainly on the inner surface of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. The α-glycerophosphate pathway acyltransferases were localized mainly on the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Activity limited to the outer cisternae of the Golgi membranes occurred with both pathways. The possible organization of triglyceride absorption and chylomicron synthesis is discussed in view of these results.

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