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Phosphatidyl-glycerol

About the structure and biological function of PG

Structure. Phosphatidylglycerols (PtdGro, GPGro, or PG) are a type of glycerophosphoglycerols, a class of glycerophospholipids. Their structure consists of a glycerol backbone linked to two fatty acids and a phosphoglycerol molecule. The fatty acids can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. Phosphatidylglycerols are key intermediates in the biosynthesis of many lipids but especially of cardiolipin. They are essential for the development of normal membranes of chloroplasts and mitochondria in higher plants. In bacteria, phosphatidylglycerols are important for optimal functioning of the bacterial machinery and play a role in protein folding and binding. Further, phosphatidylglycerols have a role in the regulation of the innate immune response in the lungs.

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Phosphatidyl-ethanolamine

About the structure and biological function of PE

Strutcure. Phosphatidylethanolamines (cephalins, PtdEtn, GPEtn, or PE) are a type of glycerophosphoethanolamines, a class of glycerophospholipids. Their structure consists of a glycerol backbone linked to two fatty acids and a phosphoethanolamine molecule. The fatty acids can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. Phosphatidylethanolamines serve as key building blocks for biological membranes. They are vital for mitochondria functionality where they are synthesized from phosphatidylserine. Phosphatidylethanolamines interact with a wide range of proteins, thus influencing biological processes such as neuronal development or signaling pathways. Further, phosphatidylethanolamines are linked to plant embryo viability and plant pathogen resistance.

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Phosphatidate

About the structure and biological function of PA

Structure. Phosphatidates (phosphatidic acids, PtdOH, or PA) are a type of glycerophosphates, a class of glycerophospholipids. Their structure consists of a glycerol backbone linked to two fatty acids and a phosphate group. The fatty acids can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. Phosphatidates are key intermediates in the synthesis of other glycerophospholipids and triacylglycerols. Yet, phosphatidates modulate signaling and cellular processes such as vesicular trafficking, enzyme activity, as well as membrane structure and dynamics. They are activators of lipid-gated ion channels. They are also precursors of lyso-phosphatidates, which are key signaling molecules. Further, the reaction product of phosphatidates with ethanol is used as biomarker for alcohol consumption and they are the key plant lipid second messengers.

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Phosphatidyl-choline

About the structure and biological function of PC

Structure. Phosphatidylcholines (lecithins, PtdCho, GPCho, or PC) are a type of glycerophosphocholines, a class of glycerophospholipids. Their structure consists of a glycerol backbone linked to two fatty acids and a phosphocholine molecule. The fatty acids can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. Phosphatidylcholines serve as key building blocks for biological membranes, and they play an important role in plasma lipoproteins, the biochemical structures to transport lipids in blood plasma.  Phosphatidylcholine is a precursor of acetylcholine,  a neurotransmitter. Platelet-activating factor is a phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholines are elevated in cancers because of the increased demand for membrane constituents, and linked to liver conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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