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 STEs (steryl esters) and TAGs (triacylglycerols). TAGs are synthesized through two pathways governed by the acyl-CoA diacylglycerol acyltransferase Dga1p and the phospholipid diacylglycerol acyltransferase Lro1p. STEs are formed by two STE synthases Are1p and Are2p, two enzymes with overlapping function, which also catalyse TAG formation, although to a minor extent. Neutral lipids are stored in the so-called lipid particles and can be utilized for membrane formation under conditions of lipid depletion. For this purpose, storage lipids have to be mobilized by TAG lipases and STE hydrolases. A TAG lipase named Tgl3p was identified as a major yeast TAG hydrolytic enzyme in lipid particles. Recently, a new family of hydrolases was detected which is required for STE mobilization in S. cerevisiae. These enzymes, named Yeh1p, Yeh2p and Tgl1p, are paralogues of the mammalian acid lipase family. The role of these proteins in biosynthesis and mobilization of TAG and STE, and the regulation of these processes will be discussed in this minireview.

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