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Progress in Lipid Research
Vol. 57
, 2015, Pages: 40–54

Molecular and functional diversity of yeast and fungal lipases: Their role in biotechnology and cellular physiology

Rani Gupta, Arti Kumari, Poonam Syal, Yogesh Singh

Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi 110021, India.


Lipase catalyzes hydrolysis of fats in lipid water interphase and perform variety of biotransformation reactions under micro aqueous conditions. The major sources include microbial lipases; among these yeast and fungal lipases are of special interest because they can carry out various stereoselective reactions. These lipases are highly diverse and are categorized into three classes on the basis of oxyanion hole: GX, GGGX and Y. The detailed phylogenetic analysis showed that GX family is more diverse than GGGX and Y family. Sequence and structural comparisons revealed that lipases are conserved only in the signature sequence region. Their characteristic structural determinants viz. lid, binding pocket and oxyanion hole are hotspots for mutagenesis. Few examples are cited in this review to highlight the multidisciplinary approaches for designing novel enzyme variants with improved thermo stability and substrate specificity. In addition, we present a brief account on biotechnological applications of lipases. Lipases have also gained attention as virulence factors, therefore, we surveyed the role of lipases in yeast physiology related to colonization, adhesion, biofilm formation and pathogenesis. The new genomic era has opened numerous possibilities to genetically manipulate lipases for food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: Lipase; Diversity; Oxyanion hole; Biotechnology; Virulence.

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