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class of enzymes
A computer-generated image of a type of lipase

A lipase is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation or cleavage (hydrolysis) of fats (lipids).[1]

Lipases are essential for the digestion, transport and processing of lipids in the diet. Fats, oils and triglycerides are present in most (perhaps all) living organisms. Genes coding for lipases are even present in certain viruses.[2][3]


  1. Svendsen A (2000). "Lipase protein engineering". Biochim Biophys Acta 1543 (2): 223–228. PMID 11150608. 
  2. Afonso C et al. (1999). "The genome of Melanoplus sanguinipes entomopoxvirus". J Virol 73 (1): 533–52. PMC 103860. PMID 9847359. 
  3. Girod A et al. (2002). "The VP1 capsid protein of adeno-associated virus type 2 is carrying a phospholipase A2 domain required for virus infectivity". J Gen Virol 83 (Pt 5): 973–8. PMID 11961250.