Enzymatic fatty acid exchange in glycerophospholipids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lipases can be used to exchange fatty acids in the sn-1 position of glycerophospholipids and phospholipase A2 is useful for the corresponding exchange reaction in the sn-2 position. In both cases, the exchange can be done in a one-step acidolysis process or in a two-step process. In the latter case, the original fatty acid in the desired position is removed by enzymatic hydrolysis or alcoholysis and after isolation of the resulting lysophospholipid, the new fatty acid is introduced, using the same enzyme, in an esterification reaction. Several synthesis examples from the literature are reviewed. Incorporation of a new fatty acid into the sn-1 position is more favourable than incorporation into the sn-2 position because of the magnitudes of the equilibrium constants of the reactions and because lipases can be used at much lower water activity than phospholipase A2. With the consecutive use of both enzymes highly pure products with defined fatty acids in both positions can be obtained.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-645
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch