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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Mar;1771(3):299-309. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

Synthesis, storage and degradation of neutral lipids in yeast.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 12/2, A-8010 Graz, Austria.


The single cell eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an attractive model to study the complex process of neutral lipid (triacylglycerol and steryl ester) synthesis, storage and turnover. In mammals, defects in the metabolism of these lipids are associated with a number of severe diseases such as atherosclerosis, obesity and type II diabetes. Since the yeast harbors many counterparts of mammalian enzymes involved in these pathways, conclusions drawn from research with the microorganism can be readily applied to the higher eukaryotic system. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of yeast neutral lipid metabolism, report about pathways and enzymes contributing to formation and degradation of triacylglycerols and steryl esters, and describe storage of these components in lipid particles. The interplay of different subcellular compartments in neutral lipid metabolism, regulatory aspects of this process and cell biological consequences of dysfunctions will be discussed.

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