Lipases perform essential roles in the digestion, transport and processing of dietary lipids (e.g. triglycerides, fats, oils) in most- if not all- living organisms. Genes encoding lipases are even present in certain viruses.
In the example of human pancreatic lipase (HPL), which is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down fats in the human digestive system, a lipase acts to convert triglyceride substrates found in oils from food to monoglycerides and free fatty acids.
Lipases are involved in diverse biological processes ranging from routine metabolism of dietary triglycerides to cell signaling and inflammation. Thus, some lipase activities are confined to specific compartments within cells while others work in extracellular spaces.
|pancreatic lipase||digestive juice||In order to exhibit optimal enzyme activity in the gut lumen, HPL requires another protein, colipase, which is also secreted by the pancreas.||-|
|lysosomal lipase||interior space of organelle: lysosome||Also referred to as lysosomal acid lipase (LAL or LIPA) or acid cholesteryl ester hydrolase||Cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD) and Wolman disease are both caused by mutations in the gene encoding lysosomal lipase.|
|hepatic lipase||endothelium||Hepatic lipase acts on the remaining lipids carried on lipoproteins in the blood to regenerate LDL (low density lipoprotein).||-|
|lipoprotein lipase||or "LIPD"||endothelium||Lipoprotein lipase functions in the blood to act on triacylglycerides carried on VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) so that cells can take up the freed fatty acids.||Lipoprotein lipase deficiency is caused by mutations in the gene encoding lipoprotein lipase.|
|gastric lipase||digestive juice||Functions in the infant at a near-neutral pH to aid in the digestion of lipids||-|
|pancreatic lipase related protein 2||or "PLRP2" -||digestive juice||-||-|
|pancreatic lipase related protein 1||or "PLRP1"||digestive juice||Pancreatic lipase related protein 1 is very similar to PLRP2 and HPL by amino acid sequence (all three genes probably arose via gene duplication of a single ancestral pancreatic lipase gene). However, PLRP1 is devoid of detectable lipase activity and its function remains unknown, even though it is conserved in other mammals.||-|
|lingual lipase||?||digestive juice||-||-|
Other lipases include , , , , , , , , , and .
There also are a diverse array of phospholipases, but these are not always classified with the other lipases.