Pancreatic lipase and pancreatic lipase-related protein 2, but not pancreatic lipase-related protein 1, hydrolyze retinyl palmitate in physiological conditions

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jan;1761(1):4-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2005.12.013. Epub 2006 Jan 30.


The major sources of vitamin A in the human diet are retinyl esters (mainly retinyl palmitate) and provitamin A carotenoids. It has been shown that classical pancreatic lipase (PL) is involved in the luminal hydrolysis of retinyl palmitate (RP), but it is not known whether pancreatic lipase-related proteins 1 (PLRP1) and 2 (PLRP2), two other lipases recovered in the human pancreatic juice, are also involved. The aim of this study was to assess whether RP acts a substrate for these lipase-related proteins. Pure horse PL, horse PLRP2 and dog PLRP1 were incubated with RP solubilized in its physiological vehicles, i.e., triglyceride-rich lipid droplets, mixed micelles and vesicles. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to assess RP hydrolysis by the free retinol released in the incubation medium. Incubation of RP-containing emulsions with horse PL and colipase resulted in RP hydrolysis (0.051+/-0.01 micromol/min/mg). This hydrolysis was abolished when colipase was not added to the medium. PLRP2 and PLRP1 were unable to hydrolyze RP solubilized in emulsions, regardless of whether colipase was added to the medium. PL hydrolyzed RP solubilized in mixed micelles as well (0.074+/-0.014 micromol/min/mg). Again, this hydrolysis was abolished in the absence of colipase. PLRP2 hydrolyzed RP solubilized in micelles but less efficiently than PL (0.023+/-0.005 micromol/min/mg). Colipase had no effect on this hydrolysis. PLRP1 was unable to hydrolyze RP solubilized in micelles, regardless of whether colipase was present or absent. Both PL and PLRP2 hydrolyzed RP solubilized in a vesicle rich-solution, and a synergic phenomenon between the two lipases was enlighten. Taken together, these results show that (1) PL hydrolyzes RP whether RP is solubilized in emulsions or in mixed micelles, (2) PLRP2 hydrolyzes RP only when RP is solubilized in mixed micelles, and (3) PLRP1 is unable to hydrolyze RP regardless of whether RP is solubilized in emulsions or in mixed micelles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diterpenes
  • Glycerides / metabolism
  • Horses
  • Kinetics
  • Lipase / metabolism*
  • Micelles
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Vitamin A / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin A / metabolism


  • Diterpenes
  • Glycerides
  • Micelles
  • Phospholipids
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Vitamin A
  • retinol palmitate
  • Lipase
  • pancreatic lipase related protein 2
  • pancreatic lipase-related protein 1