Phospholipids (PLs) know-how: exploring and exploiting phospholipase D for its industrial dissemination

Peng Zhang, Jin-Song Gong*, Jiufu Qin, Hui Li, Hai-Juan Hou, Xiao-Mei Zhang, Zheng-Hong Xu, Jin-Song Shi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Owing to their numerous nutritional and bioactive functions, phospholipids (PLs), which are major components of biological membranes in all living organisms, have been widely applied as nutraceuticals, food supplements, and cosmetic ingredients. To date, PLs are extracted solely from soybean or egg yolk, despite the diverse market demands and high cost, owing to a tedious and inefficient manufacturing process. A microbial-based manufacturing process, specifically phospholipase D (PLD)-based biocatalysis and biotransformation process for PLs, has the potential to address several challenges associated with the soybean- or egg yolk-based supply chain. However, poor enzyme properties and inefficient microbial expression systems for PLD limit their wide industrial dissemination. Therefore, sourcing new enzyme variants with improved properties and developing advanced PLD expression systems are important. In the present review, we systematically summarize recent achievements and trends in the discovery, their structural properties, catalytic mechanisms, expression strategies for enhancing PLD production, and its multiple applications in the context of PLs. This review is expected to assist researchers to understand current advances in this field and provide insights for further molecular engineering efforts toward PLD-mediated bioprocessing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1257-1278
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biomanufacturing
  • Genome and metagenome mining
  • Phospholipase D
  • Phospholipids
  • Enzyme structure
  • Heterologous expression
  • Molecular engineering


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