Hydrolysis of Xenobiotic Fatty Acid Esters by Carboxylesterases of Human Skin

  • Eberhard Heymann
  • Felicitas Noetzel
  • Rita Retzlaff
  • Gabriele Schnetgöke
  • Sonja Westie
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 266)


Human skin contains carboxylesterases capable of degrading amphiphilic xenobiotic esters. Most of these activities are found in the subcutaneous fat tissue and are of the serine hydrolase type, but activation experiments with Ca2+ point to a possible involvement of epidermal phospholipase A2 in the hydrolysis of myristoyl esters and especially of sorbitan trioleate. Fatty acid ethyl and propyl esters, and 4hydroxy-benzoic acid esters are degraded both in the epidermis and in the subcutis. With simple fatty acid esters an extract from stratum granulosum/stratum corneum exhibits optimal activity with an acyl chain length of 14, whereas the optimum is at shorter acyl residues with the other skin compartments.


Fatty Acid Ester Cutis Extract Butyl Ester Subcutis Extract Isopropyl Ester 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eberhard Heymann
    • 1
  • Felicitas Noetzel
    • 1
  • Rita Retzlaff
    • 1
  • Gabriele Schnetgöke
    • 1
  • Sonja Westie
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiological ChemistryUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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