IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: hormone-sensitive lipase

Reaction: (1) diacylglycerol + H2O = monoacylglycerol + a carboxylate

(2) triacylglycerol + H2O = diacylglycerol + a carboxylate

(3) monoacylglycerol + H2O = glycerol + a carboxylate

Other name(s): HSL

Systematic name: diacylglycerol acylhydrolase

Comments: This enzyme is a serine hydrolase. Compared with other lipases, hormone-sensitive lipase has a uniquely broad substrate specificity. It hydrolyses all acylglycerols (triacylglycerol, diacylglycerol and monoacylglycerol) [2,3,4] as well as cholesteryl esters [2,4], steroid fatty acid esters [5], retinyl esters [6] and p-nitrophenyl esters [4,7]. It exhibits a preference for the 1- or 3-ester bond of its acylglycerol substrate compared with the 2-ester bond [8]. The enzyme shows little preference for the fatty acids in the triacylglycerol, although there is some increase in activity with decreasing chain length. The enzyme activity is increased in response to hormones that elevate intracellular levels of cAMP.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Holm, C., Osterlund, T., Laurell, H. and Contreras, J.A. Molecular mechanisms regulating hormone-sensitive lipase and lipolysis. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 20 (2000) 365-393. [PMID: 10940339]

2. Fredrikson, G., Stralfors, P., Nilsson, N.O. and Belfrage, P. Hormone-sensitive lipase of rat adipose tissue. Purification and some properties. J. Biol. Chem. 256 (1981) 6311-6320. [PMID: 7240206]

3. Vaughan, M., Berger, J.E. and Steinberg, D. Hormone-sensitive lipase and monoglyceride lipase activities in adipose tissue. J. Biol. Chem. 239 (1964) 401-409. [PMID: 14169138]

4. Østerlund, T., Danielsson, B., Degerman, E., Contreras, J.A., Edgren, G., Davis, R.C., Schotz, M.C. and Holm, C. Domain-structure analysis of recombinant rat hormone-sensitive lipase. Biochem. J. 319 (1996) 411-420. [PMID: 8912675]

5. Lee, F.T., Adams, J.B., Garton, A.J. and Yeaman, S.J. Hormone-sensitive lipase is involved in the hydrolysis of lipoidal derivatives of estrogens and other steroid hormones. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 963 (1988) 258-264. [PMID: 3196730]

6. Wei, S., Lai, K., Patel, S., Piantedosi, R., Shen, H., Colantuoni, V., Kraemer, F.B. and Blaner, W.S. Retinyl ester hydrolysis and retinol efflux from BFC-1β adipocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 272 (1977) 14159-14165. [PMID: 9162045]

7. Tsujita, T., Ninomiya, H. and Okuda, H. p-Nitrophenyl butyrate hydrolyzing activity of hormone-sensitive lipase from bovine adipose tissue. J. Lipid Res. 30 (1989) 997-1004. [PMID: 2794798]

8. Yeaman, S.J. Hormone-sensitive lipase - new roles for an old enzyme. Biochem. J. 379 (2004) 11-22. [PMID: 14725507]

[EC created 2004]

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