Better together: Protein partnerships for lineage-specific oil accumulation

Lucas Busta, Kent D. Chapman, Edgar B. Cahoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Plant-derived oils are a major agricultural product that exist in both ubiquitous forms such as common vegetable oils and in specialized forms such as castor oil and coconut oil. These specialized oils are the result of lineage-specific metabolic pathways that create oils rich in unusual fatty acids. Considerable progress has been made toward understanding the enzymes that mediate fatty acid biosynthesis, triacylglycerol assembly, and oil storage. However, efforts to translate this knowledge into renewable bioproducts via engineered oil-producing plants and algae have had limited success. Here, we review recent evidence that protein–protein interactions in each of the three major phases of oil formation appear to have profound effects on specialized oil accumulation. We suggest that furthering our knowledge of the noncatalytic attributes of enzymes and other proteins involved in oil formation will be a critical step toward creating renewable bioproducts derived from high performing, engineered oilseeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102191
JournalCurrent Opinion in Plant Biology
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
L.B. acknowledges support from the University of Minnesota Duluth in the form of startup funds. K.D.C. acknowledges support for lipid droplet research from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, BES-Physical Biosciences program (DE–SC0016536). E.B.C. acknowledges support from the U.S. Department of Energy Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (Award DE–SC0018420) for research on oil metabolic engineering.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Fatty acid
  • Lipid
  • Oil biosynthesis
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • Specialized metabolism
  • Triacylglycerol

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review


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