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Biochemistry - Lecture 8 (22/02/2018)
Lipids and Fatty Acids
Lipids provide energy reserves, predominantly in the form of triacylglycerols.
Both lipids and lipid derivatives serve as vitamins and hormones.
Lipids also serve as a structural component of biological membranes (phospholipids).
Lipophilic bile acids aid in the solubilization of lipids.
All lipids are insoluble in aqueous solutions.
The 4 main Lipid Families:
Triacylglycerols - These contain a glycerol backbone, with 3 fatty acid (acyl)
Glycerophopholipids- These contain a glycerol backbone and phosphate moieties, with a polar head group (can include glycolipids).
Sphingolipids - These are built on a sphingosine backbone unit (can include glycolipids).
Isoprenoids - Can include steroids, lipid vitamins and hormones.
Triacylglycerols are hydrophobic.
Glycerophospholipids and Sphingolipids are Amphipathic.
Triacylglycerols, Glycerophospholipids and Sphingolipids have fatty acid chains as a
Isoprenoids are largely hydrophobic, with variable polar group content.
Fatty acids differ from one another in:
Length of the hydrocarbon tails.
Degree of unsaturation (double bonds).
Position of the double bonds in the chain.
Most fatty acids have 12 to 22 Carbons.
IUPAC nomenclature: The Carboxyl carbon is C-1.
Commonly used nomenclature: α, β, γ, δ, ε after C-1.
The Carbon farthest from the carboxyl C is labelled ω.
Cis double bonds introduce kinks which cause less intermolecular Van der Waals interactions and for the molecule to become more fluid, with a lower melting point.
Fatty acids are an important fuel source and are stored as neutral lipids called Triacylglycerols (TAGs).
Triacylglycerols are composed of 3 fatty acyl residues esterified to a
Glycerol (3-carbon sugar alcohol).
TAGs are very hydrophobic, and are stored in cells in an anhydrous form (e.g. in fat droplets).
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