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Simple Lipids, Sterols, Lipoproteins
and Other Miscellaneous Lipids

Scottish thistleHere, we describe the chemical and biological properties of individual simple lipid classes, defined as yielding two classes of product on hydrolysis. For example, glycerolipids such as the triacylglycerols are the most important lipids of commerce as well as being essential for the well-being of organisms. Other simple lipids include the sterols, which are key membrane constituents as well as precursors of certain vitamins and hormones, and the tocopherols (vitamin E), which are complex isoprenoids and function as antioxidants. Coenzyme A esters are essential for the biosynthesis of most lipids.

For practical convenience, we list web pages dealing with lipoproteins and proteolipids here together with a number of lipid classes that do not fit naturally into any of the other major categories, including lipid A, microbial surfactants and various sulfolipids.

button Simple Glycerolipids
Triacylglycerols 1.  Structure & composition
2.  Biosynthesis & metabolism
button Sterols and other isoprenoid lipids
Sterols 1.  Cholesterol + cholesterol esters - and other animal sterols
2.  Oxysterols & other cholesterol derivatives
3.  Plant sterols + sterol esters, sterol glycosides & ergosterol
4.  Hopanoids + related compounds
5.  Bile acids and alcohols
Isoprenoids 1.  Tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E)
2.  Retinoids (vitamin A)
3.  Other membrane-associated isoprenoids - dolichols and isoprenoid quinones
button Lipoproteins
Proteolipids - myristoylated, pamitoylated, prenyl, cholesterol-linked, bacterial
Plasma lipoproteins - from chylomicrons to HDL
Microbial lipopeptides
button Miscellaneous simple and complex lipids
Unesterified (free) fatty acids
Coenzyme A, acyl carrier protein & functionally related molecules
Carnitine, acylcarnitines & β-oxidation
Endocannabinoids - anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol & related lipids
Simple N-acylamides & lipoamino acids
Rhamnolipids, sophorolipids and related glycolipids
Lipid A & bacterial lipopolysaccharides
Miscellaneous lipid sulfates and sulfonates

The web pages dealing with ether lipids and arsenolipids are also relevant here.

These essays are aimed at generalists, not experts in particular disciplines, but the reading lists at the end of each provide for those requiring a more specialized knowledge. In addition, the Literature Survey pages contain comprehensive lists of those publications consulted during the writing of this section of the site. As I am able to update them regularly, my web pages here are much more up-to-date and accurate, and they are far better illustrated than obsolete versions elsewhere.

Lipid listings Credits/disclaimer Updated: May 5th, 2017 Author: William W. Christie LipidWeb icon