High proportions of isovaleric acid (40.5 mole %) and long-chain is0 acids, such as isopentadecanoic acid (4.8 mole %), are present in the neutral glycerolipids of the mandibular canal of the porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Although isovaleric acid, a product of leucine metabolism, is readily esterified in triglyceride biosynthesis the isopentyloxy structure was not detected in the alkyl chains of glycery ethers or the dialkoxypentane fraction of the diol lipids. These findings suggest that isovaleric acid, unlike longer chain structures, is not readily reduced and incorporated into alkyl moieties. The apparent absence in the mandibular canal of C20 and C22 unsaturated acids characteristic of marine organisms suggests that lipid biosynthesis is not significantly dependent on dietary polyenoic acids.
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