PROSITE documentation PDOC00639
Oleosins signature


Oleosins [1] are the proteinaceous components of plants' lipid storage bodies called oil bodies. Oil bodies are small droplets (0.2 to 1.5 mu-m in diameter) containing mostly triacylglycerol that are surrounded by a phospholipid/ oleosin annulus. Oleosins may have a structural role in stabilizing the lipid body during dessication of the seed, by preventing coalescence of the oil. They may also provide recognition signals for specific lipase anchorage in lipolysis during seedling growth. Oleosins are found in the monolayer lipid/ water interface of oil bodies and probably interact with both the lipid and phospholipid moieties.

Oleosins are proteins of 16 Kd to 24 Kd and are composed of three domains: an N-terminal hydrophilic region of variable length (from 30 to 60 residues); a central hydrophobic domain of about 70 residues and a C-terminal amphipathic region of variable length (from 60 to 100 residues). The central hydrophobic domain is proposed to be made up of β-strand structure and to interact with the lipids [2]. It is the only domain whose sequence is conserved and we have therefore selected a section from that domain as a signature pattern.

Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.


Technical section

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

OLEOSINS, PS00811; Oleosins signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsMurphy D.J. Keen J.N. O'Sullivan J.N. Au D.M.Y. Edwards E.-W. Jackson P.J. Cummins I. Gibbons T. Shaw C.H. Ryan A.J.
TitleA class of amphipathic proteins associated with lipid storage bodies in plants. Possible similarities with animal serum apolipoproteins.
SourceBiochim. Biophys. Acta 1088:86-94(1991).
PubMed ID1989697

2AuthorsTzen J.T.C. Lie G.C. Huang A.H.C.
TitleCharacterization of the charged components and their topology on the surface of plant seed oil bodies.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 267:15626-15634(1992).
PubMed ID1639802

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