Biological Molecules - Lipids

Description; structure

  • steroids
    • steroids: cholesterol, testosterone, estrogen
    • Steroids are made from the cyclization of squalene, which is a terpene.
  • terpenes
    • from isoprene to terpene, from terpene to self-cyclization
    • Terpenes are made from the polymerization of isoprene.
    • Terpenes contain double bonds, which gives the molecule the ability to undergo cyclization.
    • Squalene, the precursor of steroids, is a terpene that consists of 6 isoprene subunits. A complex self-cyclization reaction converts squalene to make steroids.
    • Squalene is classified as a triterpene. Triterpene = 6 isoprene subunits. Diterpene = 4 units. Monoterpene = 2 units.
  • triacyl glycerols
    • triacyl glycerol synthesis from glycerol and fatty acids
    • Glycerol + 3 Fatty acids → Triacyl Glycerol.
    • The reverse of triacyl glycerol synthesis is saponification.
  • free fatty acids
    • fatty acid activation
    • Fatty acids can undergo phosphorylation and transesterification (commonly called activation by biochemists).
    • fatty acid synthesis and degradation
    • Fatty acid synthesis occurs via a mechanism similar to the claisen condensation.