Lipids and Biomembranes

ID #2188

Regarding the lecture on phospholipids and biomembranes, Prof. Mehrtens mentioned that when looking at the 3-carbon backbone of a phospholipid you should look for a nitrogen atom to determine if the backbone is serine vs. glycerol or something else. In general, if there is no nitrogen atom present in the 3-carbon backbone of a phospholipid, can we assume for the purposes of this class right now that this backbone is glycerol?

Glycerol is something that you should be able to identify, so you won't need to make that assumption. For example, we would expect you to know that glycerol has three carbons and we covered the basic chemical composition in an earlier lecture. For this class you won't need to be able to know the chemical formula of serine, but you'll need to be able to differentiate between serine and glycerol in the backbone of lipids (which is why Prof. Mehrtens gave the hint to look for the presence of a nitrogen and if the nitrogen is there, then it's not glycerol).

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