Arabidopsis SFAR4 is a novel GDSL-type esterase involved in fatty acid degradation and glucose tolerance

Li Min Huang, Chia Ping Lai, Long Fang O. Chen, Ming Tsair Chan, Jei Fu Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: SFARs (seed fatty acid reducers) belonging to the GDSL lipases/esterases family have been reported to reduce fatty acid storage and composition in mature Arabidopsis seeds. GDSL lipases/esterases are hydrolytic enzymes that possess multifunctional properties, such as broad substrate specificity, regiospecificity, and stereoselectivity. Studies on the physiological functions and biochemical characteristics of GDSL lipases/esterases in plants are limited, so it is important to elucidate the molecular functions of GDSL-type genes. Results: We found that SFAR4 (At3g48460), a fatty acid reducer belonging to the Arabidopsis GDSL lipases/esterases family, was intensely expressed in embryo protrusion, early seedlings, and pollen. The characterization of recombinant SFAR4 protein indicated that it has short-length p-nitrophenyl esterase activity. In addition, SFAR4 enhanced the expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism during seed germination and seedling development. SFAR4 elevated the expression of COMATOSE, which transports fatty acids into peroxisomes, and of LACS6 and LACS7, which deliver long-chain acetyl-CoA for ß-oxidation. Furthermore, SFAR4 increased the transcription of PED1 and PNC1, which function in importing peroxisomal ATP required for fatty acid degradation. SFAR4 has another function on tolerance to high glucose concentrations but had no significant effects on the expression of the glucose sensor HXK1. Conclusions: The results demonstrated that SFAR4 is a GDSL-type esterase involved in fatty acid metabolism during post-germination and seedling development in Arabidopsis. We suggested that SFAR4 plays an important role in fatty acid degradation, thus reducing the fatty acid content.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalBotanical Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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