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C3766 Sigma

Cholesterol Esterase from bovine pancreas

lyophilized powder, ≥200 units/g protein

Synonym: Sterol-ester acylhydrolase



Analysis Note

Protein determined by biuret.

Other Notes

Partially purified


100, 500 units in poly bottle

Preparation Note

Cholesterol esterase is soluble in 0.4 M potassium phosphate, pH 7.0 at 1 mg/mL concentration.

Unit Definition

One unit will hydrolyze 1.0 μmole of cholesteryl oleate to cholesterol and oleic acid per minute at pH 7.0 at 37 °C in the presence of taurocholate.

Physical form

This product is partially purified from bovine pancreas and is supplied as a white to light brown lyophilized powder containing ≥20% protein (biuret) and potassium phosphate.


Cholesterol esterase bound to membrane-associated heparin on brush border membranes aids in the transport of cholesterol and free fatty acid across the membrane. This enzyme is widely used in the determination of serum cholesterol in clinical laboratories. The enzyme from Sigma has been used to evaluate the inhibitory and antioxidant functions of the methanol extract of the Camellia sinensis leaves under in vitro conditions. The enzyme has also been used to digest human serum samples to confirm the presence and position of acyl esters of 7α-hydroxycholesterol.

Enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of many of the fatty acid esters of cholesterol.
Optimum pH range: 6-8
Activators: Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether, cAMP-dependent protein kinase type II, ethanol, methanol, n-butanol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, sodium taurocholic acid
Inhibitors: Bisphenol A methacrylate, diisopropylfluorophosphate, enolase, Hg2+, sodium fluoride, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine

Biochem/physiol Actions

Cholesterol esterase (CE) is a reversible enzyme that can hydrolyze or synthesize fatty acid esters of cholesterol and other sterols. Hydrolysis of water insoluble long chain fatty acid esters requires bile salt activation. Hydrolysis of water soluble esters of short chain fatty acids and lysophospholipids does not require activation by bile salts. It also hydrolyzes tri-, di-, and mono-acylglycerols, phospholipids, lysophospholipids, and ceramide. This monomeric glycoprotein may have multiple functions in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, as well as in atherosclerosis. Its molecular mass is found to be 84 kDa.

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Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

NONH for all modes of transport
WGK Germany 
Protocols & Articles


Cholesterol Esterification

To more efficiently transport both dietary and synthesized cholesterol, it is converted to cholesteryl esters. Free cholesterol can be taken up by lipoproteins, but is confined to the outer surface o...
BioFiles 2007, 2.7, 10.
Keywords: Biofiles, Catalysis

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Application Index | Enzyme Index | Substrate Index | Inhibitor Index | Cofactor Index | Lectin Index
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