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PROSITE documentation PDOC00110

Lipases, serine active site


Triglyceride lipases (EC [1] are lipolytic enzymes that hydrolyzes the ester bond of triglycerides. Lipases are widely distributed in animals, plants and prokaryotes. In higher vertebrates there are at least three tissue-specific isozymes: pancreatic, hepatic, and gastric/lingual. These three types of lipases are closely related to each other as well as to lipoprotein lipase (EC [2], which hydrolyzes triglycerides of chylomicrons and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL).

The most conserved region in all these proteins is centered around a serine residue which has been shown [3] to participate, with an histidine and an aspartic acid residue, to a charge relay system. Such a region is also present in lipases of prokaryotic origin and in lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (EC (LCAT) [4], which catalyzes fatty acid transfer between phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol. We have built a pattern from that region.


Drosophila vitellogenins are also related to lipases [5], but they have lost their active site serine.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.

Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

LIPASE_SER, PS00120; Lipases, serine active site  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsChapus C., Rovery M., Sarda L., Verger R.
TitleMinireview on pancreatic lipase and colipase.
SourceBiochimie 70:1223-1234(1988).
PubMed ID3147715

2AuthorsPersson B., Bengtsson-Olivecrona G., Enerback S., Olivecrona T., Jornvall H.
TitleStructural features of lipoprotein lipase. Lipase family relationships, binding interactions, non-equivalence of lipase cofactors, vitellogenin similarities and functional subdivision of lipoprotein lipase.
SourceEur. J. Biochem. 179:39-45(1989).
PubMed ID2917565

3AuthorsBlow D.
TitleEnzymology. More of the catalytic triad.
SourceNature 343:694-695(1990).
PubMed ID2304545

4AuthorsMcLean J., Fielding C., Drayna D., Dieplinger H., Baer B., Kohr W., Henzel W., Lawn R.
TitleCloning and expression of human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase cDNA.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83:2335-2339(1986).
PubMed ID3458198

5AuthorsBaker M.E.
TitleIs vitellogenin an ancestor of apolipoprotein B-100 of human low-density lipoprotein and human lipoprotein lipase?
SourceBiochem. J. 255:1057-1060(1988).
PubMed ID3145737

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