IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: phosphatidylcholine—retinol O-acyltransferase

Reaction: phosphatidylcholine + retinol—[cellular-retinol-binding-protein] = 2-acylglycerophosphocholine + retinyl-ester—[cellular-retinol-binding-protein]

Glossary: phosphatidylcholine = lecithin

Other name(s): lecithin—retinol acyltransferase; phosphatidylcholine:retinol-(cellular-retinol-binding-protein) O-acyltransferase; lecithin:retinol acyltransferase; lecithin-retinol acyltransferase; retinyl ester synthase; LRAT; lecithin retinol acyl transferase

Systematic name: phosphatidylcholine:retinol—[cellular-retinol-binding-protein] O-acyltransferase

Comments: A key enzyme in retinoid metabolism, catalysing the transfer of an acyl group from the sn-1 position of phosphatidylcholine to retinol, forming retinyl esters which are then stored. Recognizes the substrate both in free form and when bound to cellular-retinol-binding-protein, but has higher affinity for the bound form. Can also esterify 11-cis-retinol.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, CAS registry number: 117444-03-8


1. MacDonald, P.N. and Ong, D.E. Evidence for a lecithin-retinol acyltransferase activity in the rat small intestine. J. Biol. Chem. 263 (1988) 12478-12482. [PMID: 3410848]

2. Saari, J.C. and Bredberg, D.L. Lecithin:retinol acyltransferase in retinal pigment epithelial microsomes. J. Biol. Chem. 264 (1989) 8636. [PMID: 2722792]

3. Saari, J.C., Bredberg, D.L. and Farrell, D.F. Retinol esterification in bovine retinal pigment epithelium: reversibility of lecithin:retinol acyltransferase. Biochem. J. 291 (1993) 697-700. [PMID: 8489497]

4. Mata, N.L. and Tsin, A.T. Distribution of 11-cis LRAT, 11-cis RD and 11-cis REH in bovine retinal pigment epithelium membranes. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1394 (1998) 16-22. [PMID: 9767084]

5. Ruiz, A., Winston, A., Lim, Y.H., Gilbert, B.A., Rando, R.R. and Bok, D. Molecular and biochemical characterization of lecithin retinol acyltransferase. J. Biol. Chem. 274 (1999) 3834-3841. [PMID: 9920938]

[EC created 1992, modified 2011]

Return to EC 2.3.1 home page
Return to EC 2.3 home page
Return to EC 2 home page
Return to Enzymes home page
Return to IUBMB Biochemical Nomenclature home page