Biotechnology of lipids bio-catalyzed reactions involving natural and synthetic lipids
Professor Lie Ken Jie, Marcel Soe Fa (Principal investigator)
HKU Project Code
General Research Fund (GRF)
To use bio-catalysts to incorporate synthetic fatty acid analogues containing a heteroatom into natural fat molecules and to study the effects of these analogues on the hydrolysis or transesterification process of natural triglycerides. It is envisaged that the presence of the hetero atom in the fatty acid analogue could either inhibit the bio-catalyst or drive the latter into a new specific reaction pathway. Such an approach would open up new biotechnological accesses into reactions involving natural fat; to develop methods using bio-catalysts in the isolation of a new essential polyunsaturated fatty acid [20:4] discovered in the seed oil of the Chinese medicinal herb, Biota orientalis. There is a great need to find an economic means to isolate or concentrate this natural product for further dietary studies; to employ bio-catalysts (such as dehydrogenase, peroxidase, decarboxylase, etc.) in the modification of synthetic and natural fatty acid molecules. This approach would ensure specificity of product formation. Products derived from such reactions will be used to study their chemical, physical and biological properties. This approach opens a new dimension in the chemical modification of long chain fatty acid molecules.