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Monday, July 11, 2011

Amphipathic lipids-Phospholipids

Amphipathic lipids= molecules that are mostly lipid-like (hydrophobic) in structure, but at one end have a region that is polar or ionic (hydrophilic).
Hydrophilic region= usually referred to as the head group,
Lipid portion=known as the tails.
1. 'Head' of a phospholipid is hydrophilic, while the hydrophobic 'tails'  are repelled by water and are forced to aggregate. 
-Hydrophilic=attracted to water.  
-Hydrophobic= repelled by water.
2.The hydrophilic head contains the negatively charged phosphate group and may contain other polar groups.
3.The hydrophobic tail usually consists of long fatty acid hydrcarbon chains
-When placed in water, phospholipids form a variety of structures depending on the specific properties of the phospholipid.
-These specific properties allow phospholipids to play an important role in the phospholipid bilayer.
4. in biological systems, the phospholipids often occurs with other molecules in a bilayer such as a cell membrane.
-lipid bilayers occurs when hydrophobic tails line up against one another, forming a membrane with hydrophilic heads on both sides facing the water.

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