Phospholipids are lipids with a phosphate
functional group (PO4-3) attached at
the end. Lipids are a group of molecules that
include fats, fatty acids, and waxes that occur
naturally in biological systems.
Phospholipids are important because they form
cell membranes. When dissolved in water,
phospholipids will form a bilayer structure
because the hydrophobic tails will face each other
to avoid the water, and the hydrophilic phosphate
groups will face the water.
Hydrophobic – repelled by water
Hydrophilic – attracted to water
The figure shows how phospholipids form
Phospholipid bilayer membranes form the
boundaries of our cells. Without them, our bodies
would have no way to keep all of our cell contents
separate and could not function.
*The figure is from:
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