Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic

Biochemistry Online

Reactivity in Chemistry

Metabolic Pathways

CT0 - L. The Cell: Lipids

Henry Jakubowski

French Translation √ by Anna Chekovsky

Figure:  A Eukaryotic Cell

Mitochondrion Link Ribosome CellImageMap

Use with permission from  Liliana Torres .  Also at

Lipids are small biological molecules which are soluble in organic solvents, such as chloroform/methanol, and are sparingly soluble in aqueous solutions.  The simple classification of lipids belies the complexity of possible lipid structures as over 1000 different lipids are found in eukaryotic cells.  This complexity has led to the development of a comprehensive classification system for lipids.  In this system, lipids are given a very detailed as well as all-encompassing definition:  "hydrophobic or amphipathic small molecules that may originate entirely or in part by carbanion-based condensations of thioesters (fatty acyl, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipds, saccharolipds and polyketides) and/or by carbocation-based condensations of isoprene units (prenol lipids and sterol lipids)."

The following site will show you the "life" history of lipids in cells.


The sites linked above are written and maintained by Henry V. Jakubowski, Ph.D., College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University.  These materials are available for educational use.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1043566.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Reactivity Index CT0. The Cell:  An Overview
Structure & Reactivity Web Materials Biochemistry Online:  Table of Contents


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Biochemistry Online by Henry Jakubowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.