Solvent stable microbial lipases: current understanding and biotechnological applications

  • Priyanka Priyanka
  • Yeqi Tan
  • Gemma K. Kinsella
  • Gary T. Henehan
  • Barry J. Ryan



This review examines on our current understanding of microbial lipase solvent tolerance, with a specific focus on the molecular strategies employed to improve lipase stability in a non-aqueous environment.


It provides an overview of known solvent tolerant lipases and of approaches to improving solvent stability such as; enhancing stabilising interactions, modification of residue flexibility and surface charge alteration. It shows that judicious selection of lipase source supplemented by appropriate enzyme stabilisation, can lead to a wide application spectrum for lipases.


Organic solvent stable lipases are, and will continue to be, versatile and adaptable biocatalytic workhorses commonly employed for industrial applications in the food, pharmaceutical and green manufacturing industries.


Industrial biocatalysis Lipase Lipase engineering Organic solvent stability Organic synthesis 



This work was supported by the Dublin Institute of Technology under the Fiosraigh Scholarship (PP and YT).

Author contributions

Conceived study (PP, YT, GKK, GTH, BJR), Performed research (PP, YT), Analyzed data (PP, YT), Contributed methods (GKK, GTH, BJR), Wrote the paper (PP, YT, GKK, GTH, BJR).


This work was supported by the Dublin Institute of Technology under the Fiosraigh Scholarship (PP and YT).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dublin Institute of TechnologyDublin 1Ireland

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