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Ergosteryl ester

About the structure and biological function of EE

Structure. Ergosteryl esters (ergosterol esters, or EE) are a type of sterol lipids. Their structure consists of ergosterol where an ester bond is formed between the hydroxyl group of the steroid structure and a fatty acid. The fatty acid can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. The biological function of ergosteryl esters revolves mainly around ergosterol storage in yeast. During growth retarding conditions but also after fungal death, ergosterol is esterified and stored in cellular lipid droplets. Once esterified, the fatty acids of the ergosteryl esters are not scavenged even during starvation conditions. Further, some ergosteryl esters also show strong growth inhibitory activity against dairy and cosmetic spoilage bacteria.

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Ergosterol

About the structure and biological function of Erg

Structure. Ergosterol (Erg) is a type of sterol lipid. Similar to cholesterol, the structure of ergosterol consists of four linked hydrocarbon rings, the steroid structure. A hydrocarbon tail is linked to one end of the steroid, a hydroxyl group linked to the other end.

Function. Ergosterol serves an important structural role in the cell membrane of fungi and also forms lipid rafts – similar to cholesterol in animal cells. Under conditions of stress, the sterol concentration of the cell membrane can change rapidly. It also has multiple functions in growth regulation and is a precursor to vitamin D2. Further, a range of antifungal drugs targets ergosterol by either binding to it in the cell membrane to cause cellular leakage, or by preventing ergosterol synthesis.

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Cholesteryl esters

About the structure and biological function of CE

Structure. Cholesteryl esters (cholesterol esters, or CE) are a type of sterol lipids. Their structure consists of cholesterol where an ester bond is formed between the hydroxyl group of the steroid structure and a fatty acid. The fatty acid can be of variable length, hydroxylated, and contain double bonds.

Function. Cholesteryl esters function as a transport form of cholesterol in blood plasma and in cells in lipid droplets. They serve as  storage containers  to  buffer excess cholesterol. They also serve as pool for cholesterol, for example for hormone synthesis in the adrenal glands, but also for free fatty acids. Cholesteryl esters accumulate in fatty lesions of atherosclerotic plaques. Further, cholesterol is inefficiently converted to cholesteryl esters in the blood of cardiovascular disease patients.

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Cholesterol

About the structure and biological function of Chol

Structure. Cholesterol (Chol) is a type of sterol lipid. Its structure consists of four linked hydrocarbon rings, the steroid structure. A hydrocarbon tail is linked to one end of the steroid, a hydroxyl group linked to the other end.

Function. Cholesterol has a vital function in animals. It is an essential component of cell membranes and lipid rafts. It is a precursor of steroid hormones and other metabolites such as vitamin D or bile acids. Cholesterol also is important for cell signaling, transport processes, and regulation of gene readout, and an abundant constituent of the water permeability barrier in skin and of myelin in the brain. Further, excess cholesterol is linked to cardiovascular disease.

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