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Lipids

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  • 1. Structure & Function of Lipids
    • Lipids are organic compounds found in every type of plant and animal cell.
    • They contain the elements CARBON, HYDROGEN and OXYGEN [ but less O 2 than in carbohydrates ]
    • All lipids are INSOLUBLE in WATER
    • Lipids have many important functions:
      • In cell membrane structure - Mechanical Protection
      • Hormones - Electrical Insulation of Nerves
      • Energy storage molecules - Waterproofing & Buoyancy
      • Thermal Insulation
  • 2.
    • FATS: Solid at room temperature
      • SATURATED FATS : all available bonds are occupied by Hydrogen
      • Most animal fats are saturated e.g. butter, lard
    • OILS: Liquid at room temperature
      • UNSATURATED FATS: contain C-C double bonds in the molecule therefore kinks are introduced.
      • Oils tend to be more available in plants e.g. sunflower oil, olive oil
  • 3. Type of Lipids
    • 3 types of lipids which are important to cells:
    • 1. Triglycerides
    • Most common type of lipid
    • 3 fatty acids and a glycerol molecule are linked by an ester bond formed during dehydration synthesis
    • 2. Phospholipids
    • Same as triglycerides except one of the fatty acids molecules is replaced by a phosphate group (PO 4 3 -)
    • The phosphate group is polar and so is attracted to water – therefore the phospholipid has two distinct ‘ends’
    • A hydrophilic end (‘water loving’) that dissolves in water and a hydrophobic end (‘water hating’) that is repelled by water
    • 3. Steroids
    • Very different structure – 4 carbon rings with variety of different side chains
  • 4. Triglycerides cont.
    • The properties of triglycerides are determined by their constituent fatty acids
    • DEHYDRATION SYNTHESIS occurs between the hydroxyl group of the glycerol molecule and the carboxyl groups of the fatty acid molecule producing an ester
    • Main function = ENERGY STORE e.g. camel hump
    • The form in which fatty acids are transported round the body and stored is adipose tissue
    ANIMATION
  • 5. Phospholipids
    • Similar to triglycerides but one fatty acid is replaced by a phosphate group which often has other groups attached
    • Usually one fatty acid is saturated and one is unsaturated. Most common phospholipid in animal tissue is PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE
    • The phospholipid has two distinctive ends:
    • HYDROPHILIC HEAD that dissolves in water
    • HYDROPHOBIC TAIL that repels water
    This property causes phospholipids to spontaneously form bilayers
  • 6. Functions of Phospholipids
    • Essential components of cells and organelle membranes
    • Components of lung surfactants