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Lipids and Cell Membranes

Lipids and Cell Membranes

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05/25/2012

 
Lipids and cell membranes
Topics
1. Lipids: Introduction 2. Classification of Lipids 3. Organization of Biomembranes 4. Fluid Mosaic Model of Biological membrane 1. Lipids: Introduction 
Lipids:
Lipids can be defined on the basis of a physical property of “solubility”. Lipids arebiological molecules extracted from living organisms which are soluble in organicsolvents, such as methanol, and are sparingly soluble in water.Propionate, Limonene, Squalene, Chrysin and Vitamin E are some the popular examples of lipids which are insoluble in water and soluble in organic solvents. Theinsolubility in water is due to the high proportion of carbon and hydrogen present inthese molecules.In short, Lipids are hydrophobic compounds, soluble in organic solvents. Most of thelipids present in the membrane are amphipathic, which means having both the non-polar end and polar end.
Fatty Acids:
Fatty acids are made up of a hydrocarbon chain having a carboxylic acid at one end.Some of the common examples of fatty acids are myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acidoleic acid, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid.
Structure:
Fatty acids can be saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids contain no doublebonds in the acyl chain whereas unsaturated ones contain either one double bond(monounsaturated) or multiple double bonds (polyunsaturated).
 
 
Common Saturated Fatty Acids:
Acetic Acid CH
3
COOHPropionic Acid C
2
H
5
COOHButyric Acid C
3
H
7
COOHLauric Acid C
11
H
23
COOHMyristic Acid C
13
H
27
COOHPalmitic Acid C
15
H
31
COOHStearic Acid C
17
H
35
COOHArchidonic Acid C
19
H
39
COOHLignoceric Acid C
23
H
47
COOH
Common Unsaturated Fatty Acids:
Oleic Acid is a common monounsaturated fatty acid containing one double bond.Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid are polyunsaturated fatty acids having more than onedouble bond.CommonnameStructurePalmitoleicacidCH
3
(CH
2
)
5
CH=CH-(CH
2
)
7
COOHOleic acid CH
3
(CH
2
)
7
CH=CH-(CH
2
)
7
COOHLinoleicacidCH
3
(CH
2
)
4
(CH=CHCH
2
)
2
(CH
2
)
6
COOH
α
-
   
LinolenicacidCH
3
CH
2
(CH=CHCH
2
)
3
(CH
2
)
6
COOHArachidonicacidCH
3
(CH
2
)
4
(CH=CHCH
2
)
4
(CH
2
)
2
COOH
 
 Fatty acid Nomenclature 
:
Fatty acids can be named in a number of ways; mostly used are common name(denoting their origin and place of occurrence etc), symbolic name (based upon thestructure and arrangement of carbon atoms), and systematic name (based on IUPACnomenclature).
Common name 
:
Oleic acid got its common name as it is present abundant in olive oil.
 
Symbolic name 
:
Symbolic name can be written as x
:
y
(
Δ
a,b,c)
 
where x is the number of Carbons in thechain, y is the number of double bonds. a, b, and c represent the positions of thestart of the double bonds from C1,the carboxyl C.
Saturated fatty acids contain no C-C double bonds.
Monounsaturated fatty acids contain one C=C bond.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain more than 1 C=C bond.
 
cis 
configuration is present usually in the double bonds in fatty acids.
Almost all the fatty acids occurring in nature have an even number of carbon atoms.
Systematic Name 
:
Systematic name is given using IUPAC nomenclature. It gives the number of carbons present in a particular fatty acid. If the fatty acid is unsaturated, the basename reflects the number of double bonds.Examples:
Common name:
α
-linolenic acidSystematic name: octadecatrienoic acidSymbolic Representation: 18:3
Δ
9,12,15
Common name: palmitic acidSystematic name: hexadecanoic acidSymbolic Representation: 16:0 (here the number of double bonds is 0since it is a saturated fatty acid.
 

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