Normally fatty acids in the form of acyl CoA are converted to acyl carnitine in a reaction catalysed by carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT1), which is also known as carnitine acyltransferase I. This allows them to be transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane by a translocase when the acyl CoA is regenerated in a reaction that is chemically identical but catalysed by a different enzyme, carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (CPT2).
As a result of observations I have made (detailed below) I wish to known whether acyl carnitine that has not entered into the mitochondria — either present in the cytosol or blood/plasma — can be converted back into acyl CoA without entering mitochondria?
Essentially, does a reaction like that catalysed by CPT2 occur outside of the inner-mitochondrial matrix?
I'm studying plasma metabolites. During fasting there is an increase in plasma acylcarnitines due to increased fat utilization/beta oxidation. If the fast is broken, acylcarnitines are typically supposed to drop. Oddly, some people experience an increase in plasma acylcarnitines 0-30 minutes following eating - but then they drop after the 30 minutes. I'm confused as 30 minutes after food ingestion, elevated circulating insulin levels are still present and should be still working to inhibit the majority of fatty acid oxidation - yet the odd increase and then drop in acylcarnitines after 30 minutes of food intake still exists.
So it leaves me with the question, is there another pathway in which acylcarnitines are converted back to acyl CoA outside of the mitochondria? In short, how does the cell recall fatty acids that are destined for the mitochondria?