Structural Diversity of Lipids

Lipids are a diverse and ubiquitous group of compounds which have many key biological functions, such as acting as structural components of cell membranes, serving as energy storage sources and participating in cell signaling pathways. Lipids may be broadly defined small molecules that originate entirely or in part from two distinct as hydrophobic or amphipathic types of biochemical subunits or "building blocks": ketoacyl and isoprene groups. The  huge structural diversity found in lipids arises from the biosynthesis of various combinations of these building blocks. For example, glycerophospholipids are composed of a glycerol backbone linked to one of approximately 10 possible headgroups and also to 2 fatty acyl/alkyl chains, which in turn may have 30 or more different molecular structures. In practice, not all possible permutations are detected experimentally, due to chain preferences depending on the cell type and also to detection limits - nevertheless several hundred distinct glycerophospholipid molecular species have been detected in mammalian cells.

For years, reductionism derived from the "fluid mosaic" model of the cell membrane has portrayed membrane lipids as rather passive molecules that, whereas separating biologically relevant aqueous phases, provided an environment so that membrane proteins could fulfil the specificity and selectivity required for proper cell signaling. Whereas these roles for membrane lipids still stand, the structural diversity of lipids and their complex arrangement in supramolecular assemblies have expanded such limited, although fundamental roles. Growing developments in the field of membrane lipids help to understand biological phenomena at the nanoscale domain, and reveal this heterogeneous group of organic compounds as a long underestimated group of key regulatory molecules. 

Relevant Conferences

2nd  International Conference on Enzymology and Molecular Biology, March 20-21, 2017, Rome, Italy; 8th International Conference and Exhibition on Metabolomics & Systems Biology, May 08-10, 2017 Singapore; 2nd International Conference on Biochemistry September 28-29, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 9th International Conference on Bioinformatics October 23-24, 2017 Paris, France; 9th International Conference and Expo on Proteomics October 23-25, 2017 Paris, France; Third World Congress of Clinical Lipidology, February 10 -12, 2017 Brisbane, Australia; 15th Eurofed Lipid Congress: Oil, Fats and Lipids: New Technologies and Applications for a Healthier Life, August 27 – 30, 2017, Uppsala, Sweden; Fatty Acids and Lipids - Chemistry and Analysis Course, February 23 - 24, 2017, Dundee, Scotland; Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology: Lipidomics and Bioactive Lipids in Metabolism and Disease, February 26 - March 2, 2017, Tahoe City, California, USA; XX Lipid Meeting Leipzig, December 7 – 9, 2017, Leipzig, Germany; NLA Scientific Sessions – 2017, May 18-21, 2017, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Saturated fatty acid
  • Unsaturated fatty acid
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Cell signaling pathways
  • Fluid mosaic model

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5th International Conference on Enzymology and Protein Chemistry

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