Dictionary » P » Phospholipid



noun, plural: phospholipids

(1) A lipid with one or more phosphate groups attached to it.

(2) A lipid consisting of a glycerol bound to two fatty acids and a phosphate group.


Phospholipids are amphipathic compounds in a way that the 'head' is hydrophilic and the lipophilic 'tail' is hydrophobic. They serve as a major structural component of most biological membranes. They form the lipid bilayer in cell membranes of organisms.

Examples of phospholipids include phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine, lecithin, plasmalogens and sphingomyelins.

Word origin: phosphor- » from phosphorus + -lipid » from Greek lipos, fat.

Variant: phospholipide
Also called: phosphatide, phospholipin

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Re: Lipid Bilayers vs Micelles

... heads / hydrophobic tails is to form micelles, because this is the simplest structure that maximizes hydrophobic/philic interaction. In phospholipids, however, the hydrophobic tails have a greater cross-sectional area than the heads, and so they cannot form stable micelles - in other ...

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by squillss
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:34 am
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Lipid Bilayers vs Micelles
Replies: 3
Views: 7132


Please, read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phospholipid

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by Cat
Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:39 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Phospholipids
Replies: 4
Views: 2772

Need help with Plasma Membrane

... present but in small proportions and in form of mucopolysacchides etc. types of diffusion, simple diffusion is where substances pass through the phospholipid layer, and facilitated diffusion is when it passes through the proteins. yes, its true. osmosis is a special case of diffusion in which ...

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by shubham999
Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:32 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Need help with Plasma Membrane
Replies: 4
Views: 6678

Need help with Plasma Membrane

... I know all the subjects pretty well but not so much about the plasma membrane. I will tell you what I know. Plasma membrane is made mostly of a phospholipid bilayer. Has some protein as well as cholesterol. And I think some carbohydrates (is that true?) The Plasma membrane is semi-permeable ...

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by MissionCO
Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:18 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Need help with Plasma Membrane
Replies: 4
Views: 6678

Please Help with Homework (fairly easy questions)

... membrane C) 2. The boundary structure that physically defines a cell is the A) plasma membrane. B) protein channel. C) hydrophilic layer. D) phospholipid side chain. A) 3. Ribosomes are tiny “machines” in the cell that produce A) proteins. B) DNA. C) membranes. D) organelles. A) 4. Which ...

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by billyfisher100
Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:46 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Please Help with Homework (fairly easy questions)
Replies: 6
Views: 30659
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