Metabolic bias: Lipid structures as determinants of their metabolic fates.
Cellular lipids have an enormous diversity in their chemical structures, which affect the physicochemical properties of lipids and membranes, as well as their regulatory roles on protein functions. Here, I review additional roles of lipid structures. Multiple studies show that structural differences affect how lipids, even from the same class, are metabolically converted via distinct pathways. I propose the name "structure-guided metabolic bias" for this phenomenon, and discuss its biological relevance. This metabolic bias seems implicated in the buildup of basic cellular lipid compositions, as well as genetic predisposition to diseases. Thus, guiding metabolic biases is an important function of lipid structures, while having the characteristic of being difficult to study by in vitro biochemical reconstitutions.
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