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enzymes of the hydrolase class that catalyze the hydrolysis of ester linkages in triglycerides, with the formation of a fatty acid and glycerol. Lipases have been discovered in animals, plants (for example, in sunflower seeds), and microorganisms.
In mammals, lipases digest (decompose) fat. They are contained predominantly in pancreatic juice, from which a pure preparation of pancreatic lipase was first isolated in 1956. They are also found in the intestinal walls and in milk. Lipoprotein lipase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of triglycerides bonded to proteins, is found in the blood plasma. The length of the chains and the degree to which the fatty acids are unsaturated have almost no influence on the activity of a lipase. Pancreatic and lipoprotein lipases hydrolyze only emulsified fats. The hydrolysis of triglycerides catalyzed by lipases is reversible. The reverse reaction is possible by means of biosynthesis.
REFERENCELipid Metabolism. New York-London, 1970.
N. V. PROKAZOVA