Dynamics of neutral lipid storage in yeast

Acta Biochim Pol. 2004;51(2):323-47.


Since energy storage is a basic metabolic process, the synthesis of neutral lipids occurs in all kingdoms of life. The yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, widely accepted as a model eukaryotic cell, contains two classes of neutral lipids, namely steryl esters and triacylglycerols. Triacylglycerols are synthesized through two pathways governed by the acyl-CoA diacylglycerol acyltransferase Dga1p and the phospholipid diacylglycerol acyltransferase Lro1p, respectively. Steryl esters are formed by the two steryl ester synthases Are1p and Are2p, two enzymes with overlapping function which also catalyze triacylglycerol formation, although to a minor extent. Storage of neutral lipids is tightly linked to the biogenesis of so called lipid particles. The role of this compartment in lipid homeostasis and its interplay with other organelles involved in neutral lipid dynamics, especially the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane, are subject of current investigations. In contrast to neutral lipid formation, mobilization of triacylglycerols and steryl esters in yeast are less characterized at the molecular level. Only recently, the triacylglycerol lipase Tgl3p was identified as the first yeast enzyme of this kind by function. Genes and gene products governing steryl ester mobilization still await identification. Besides biochemical properties of enzymes involved in yeast neutral lipid synthesis and degradation, regulatory aspects of these pathways and cell biological consequences of neutral lipid depletion will be discussed in this minireview.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / physiology
  • Animals
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase
  • Esters
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Chemical
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Esters
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Triglycerides
  • Heme
  • Acyltransferases
  • Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase
  • ARE1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • ARE2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase