These pages comprise a series of documents describing the structures, occurrence, biochemistry and functions of the complex (polar) glycerolipids, including both the phospholipids and glycosyldiacylglycerols.
The glycerophospholipids are derived mainly from sn-1,2-diacylglycerols with a phosphate residue in position sn-3 linked in turn to an amino-alcohol, amino acid, carbohydrate or other functional moiety. They are key components of all biological membranes, but have a variety of other functions as cellular messengers, enzyme activators, and so forth. The glycosyldiacylglycerols are especially important in plants where they are major constituents of photosynthetic tissues, substituting for phospholipids in some circumstances.
- Phosphatidic acid & related lipids - including lyso -, pyro- and cyclic-phosphatidic acid
- Phosphatidylglycerol & related lipids plus the complex lipoamino acids
- Cardiolipin (diphosphatidylglycerol)
- Phosphatidylethanolamine + lyso-, N-acyl, mono- and dimethyl-PE
- Phosphatidylcholine + lyso-PC
- Phosphatidylserine - with N-acyl- and lyso-PS and phosphatidylthreonine
- Phosphatidylinositol & related lipids + polyphosphoinositides
- Cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol
- Phosphonolipids - both diacylglycerol- and ceramide-derived
- Platelet-activating factor
- Glycosylphosphatidylinositol(GPI)-anchored proteins & phosphatidylinositol mannosides
- Mono- & digalactosyldiacylglycerols from plants and microorganisms, etc - with sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols
- Glycosyldiacylglycerols & related lipids from animals - including seminolipid
Other Complex Glycerolipids
- Betaine lipids - 1,2-diacylglyceryl-3-O-4'-(N,N,N-trimethyl)-homoserine, etc
- Ether lipids - simple & complex
- Archaeal ether lipids (both phospho- and glycolipids)
- Glycophospholipids - both 'glycophospholipids' and 'phosphoglycolipids'
The webpage dealing with miscellaneous sulfur-containing lipids is also relevant here.
These essays are aimed at generalists - not experts in particular disciplines - but it is hoped that the reading lists at the end of each will provide for those who require a more specialized knowledge. PDF files are available for download at the end of web pages. There is a shortcut to a full list of individual lipid classes here.
Updated: March 19th, 2012