, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 1831-1842

Effects of Surfactants on Lipase Structure, Activity, and Inhibition

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ABSTRACT

Lipase inhibitors are the main anti-obesity drugs prescribed these days, but the complexity of their mechanism of action is making it difficult to develop new molecules for this purpose. The efficacy of these drugs is known to depend closely on the physico-chemistry of the lipid-water interfaces involved and on the unconventional behavior of the lipases which are their target enzymes. The lipolysis reaction which occurs at an oil-water interface involves complex equilibria between adsorption-desorption processes, conformational changes and catalytic mechanisms. In this context, surfactants can induce significant changes in the partitioning of the enzyme and the inhibitor between the water phase and lipid-water interfaces. Surfactants can be found at the oil-water interface where they compete with lipases for adsorption, but also in solution in the form of micellar aggregates and monomers that may interact with hydrophobic parts of lipases in solution. These various interactions, combined with the emulsification and dispersion of insoluble substrates and inhibitors, can either promote or decrease the activity and the inhibition of lipases. Here, we review some examples of the various effects of surfactants on lipase structure, activity and inhibition, which show how complex the various equilibria involved in the lipolysis reaction tend to be.