The enzyme introduces a cis double bond at position C-11 of saturated fatty acyl-CoAs. In moths the enzyme participates in the biosynthesis of their sex pheromones. The enzyme from the marine microalga Thalassiosira pseudonana is specific for palmitoyl-CoA (16:0) , that from the leafroller moth Choristoneura rosaceana desaturates myristoyl-CoA (14:0) , while that from the moth Spodoptera littoralis accepts both substrates . The enzyme contains three histidine boxes that are conserved in all desaturases . It is membrane-bound, and contains a cytochrome b5-like domain at the N-terminus that serves as the electron donor for the active site of the desaturase.
EC 18.104.22.168 created 2008 (EC 22.214.171.124 created 2000, incorporated 2015), modified 2015