BI110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Cholesterol, Signal Transduction, Alpha Helix

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They have a phosphate group and glycerol backbone. Fatty acid chains (tails) saturated have no double bonds and unsaturated have one or more double bonds. Shorter fatty acids, the membrane won"t be as wide. A membrane can have different variations of lengths of fatty acid but generally the phospholipids itself has two tails that have the same amount of carbons. Fluidity of lipid bilayer dependent on how densely individual phospholipids molecules can pack together. Influenced by two major factors: composition of lipid molecules. Degrees of unsaturation of fatty acid tails. If membrane is to ridged or viscous than phospholipids loses its function. Effect of unsaturated fatty acids on packing of membrane lipids. Phospholipids composed of saturated fatty acids: each carbon is bound to max number of hydrogens (all single bonds between. Phospholipids composed of unsaturated fatty acids: double-bonds between carbons introduce kinks, less dense packing. Degree of unsaturation affects fluidity: viscous (saturated hydrocarbon tails, fluid (unsaturated hydrocarbon tails with kinks)

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