Plant Lipases

Plant Lipases

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7482-8.ch003
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Most searches in plant lipases have been devoted to seed lipases, but other sources of plant lipases are being exploited. The current chapter is undertaken to show readily available sources of lipases from plants as well as for their biochemical properties and some of their other eminent characteristics. The sequence and structural characterization into these lipolytic enzymes as well as their importance for biotechnological applications would also be the focus of this chapter. In fact, plant lipases have interesting features, particularly biochemical properties (e.g., pH and temperature), and with respect to their specific hydrolytic properties would make these enzymes alternative remedies for treatment of many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and of pancreatic insufficiency with exogenous plant acid stable lipases.
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Plant lipases have generally been studied less than those from animal or microbial sources. These latter forms of lipases have extensively been used in industry to a much higher degree since the past than the plants form (Macrae & Hammond, 1985; Seitz, 1974). Nevertheless, it has been shown that lipases from plants can exhibit many advantages over other sources of enzymes such as high biocatalytic activities, availability, low cost and easy purification (Villeneuve, 2003; Mukherjee, 1996).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Enzyme Specificity: Refers to the tendency for a given enzyme to catalyze a specific set of chemical reactions.

Plant: Is one of five big groups (kingdoms) of living organisms. It is autotrophic eukaryote, which means it has complex cells and makes its own food. Usually it cannot move (not counting growth). Plants include the following familiar types of organisms: trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae.

Enzyme: A substance of protein produced by a living organism that acts as a biocatalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. This protein is characterized by a particular activity in a given substrate, for example, starch for amylolytic activity (amylase), or lipid for lipolytic activity (lipase).

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