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Sphingomyelins: A class of sphingolipids found largely in the brain and other nervous tissue. They contain phosphocholine or phosphoethanolamine as their polar head group so therefore are the only sphingolipids classified as PHOSPHOLIPIDS.Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to ceramide (N-acylsphingosine) plus choline phosphate. A defect in this enzyme leads to NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE. EC 3.1.4.12.Ceramides: Members of the class of neutral glycosphingolipids. They are the basic units of SPHINGOLIPIDS. They are sphingoids attached via their amino groups to a long chain fatty acyl group. They abnormally accumulate in FABRY DISEASE.Transferases (Other Substituted Phosphate Groups): A class of enzymes that transfers substituted phosphate groups. EC 2.7.8.Phosphatidylcholines: Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to a choline moiety. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid and choline and 2 moles of fatty acids.Sphingolipids: A class of membrane lipids that have a polar head and two nonpolar tails. They are composed of one molecule of the long-chain amino alcohol sphingosine (4-sphingenine) or one of its derivatives, one molecule of a long-chain acid, a polar head alcohol and sometimes phosphoric acid in diester linkage at the polar head group. (Lehninger et al, Principles of Biochemistry, 2nd ed)Glucosylceramides: Cerebrosides which contain as their polar head group a glucose moiety bound in glycosidic linkage to the hydroxyl group of ceramides. Their accumulation in tissue, due to a defect in beta-glucosidase, is the cause of Gaucher's disease.Phospholipids: Lipids containing one or more phosphate groups, particularly those derived from either glycerol (phosphoglycerides see GLYCEROPHOSPHOLIPIDS) or sphingosine (SPHINGOLIPIDS). They are polar lipids that are of great importance for the structure and function of cell membranes and are the most abundant of membrane lipids, although not stored in large amounts in the system.Sphingosine: An amino alcohol with a long unsaturated hydrocarbon chain. Sphingosine and its derivative sphinganine are the major bases of the sphingolipids in mammals. (Dorland, 28th ed)Niemann-Pick Diseases: A group of autosomal recessive disorders in which harmful quantities of lipids accumulate in the viscera and the central nervous system. They can be caused by deficiencies of enzyme activities (SPHINGOMYELIN PHOSPHODIESTERASE) or defects in intracellular transport, resulting in the accumulation of SPHINGOMYELINS and CHOLESTEROL. There are various subtypes based on their clinical and genetic differences.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Membrane Microdomains: Detergent-insoluble CELL MEMBRANE components. They are enriched in SPHINGOLIPIDS and CHOLESTEROL and clustered with glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins.Membrane Lipids: Lipids, predominantly phospholipids, cholesterol and small amounts of glycolipids found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. These lipids may be arranged in bilayers in the membranes with integral proteins between the layers and peripheral proteins attached to the outside. Membrane lipids are required for active transport, several enzymatic activities and membrane formation.Fetal Organ Maturity: Functional competence of specific organs or body systems of the FETUS in utero.Serine C-Palmitoyltransferase: A key enzyme in SPHINGOLIPIDS biosynthesis, this enzyme catalyzes the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-dependent condensation of L-SERINE and PALMITOYL COENZYME A to 3-dehydro-D-sphinganine. The enzyme consists of two different subunits.Ceramidases: Amidohydrolases that are specific for the cleavage of the N-acyl linkage of CERAMIDES. Ceramidases are classified as acidic, neutral or basic according to the optimal pH with which they function.Chromatography, Thin Layer: Chromatography on thin layers of adsorbents rather than in columns. The adsorbent can be alumina, silica gel, silicates, charcoals, or cellulose. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Amniotic Fluid: A clear, yellowish liquid that envelopes the FETUS inside the sac of AMNION. In the first trimester, it is likely a transudate of maternal or fetal plasma. In the second trimester, amniotic fluid derives primarily from fetal lung and kidney. Cells or substances in this fluid can be removed for prenatal diagnostic tests (AMNIOCENTESIS).Cerebrosides: Neutral glycosphingolipids that contain a monosaccharide, normally glucose or galactose, in 1-ortho-beta-glycosidic linkage with the primary alcohol of an N-acyl sphingoid (ceramide). In plants the monosaccharide is normally glucose and the sphingoid usually phytosphingosine. In animals, the monosaccharide is usually galactose, though this may vary with the tissue and the sphingoid is usually sphingosine or dihydrosphingosine. (From Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1st ed)Lipid Bilayers: Layers of lipid molecules which are two molecules thick. Bilayer systems are frequently studied as models of biological membranes.Phosphatidylethanolamines: Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to an ethanolamine moiety. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid and ethanolamine and 2 moles of fatty acids.Phosphorylcholine: Calcium and magnesium salts used therapeutically in hepatobiliary dysfunction.Brefeldin A: A fungal metabolite which is a macrocyclic lactone exhibiting a wide range of antibiotic activity.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Phase Transition: A change of a substance from one form or state to another.Egg Yolk: Cytoplasm stored in an egg that contains nutritional reserves for the developing embryo. It is rich in polysaccharides, lipids, and proteins.Liposomes: Artificial, single or multilaminar vesicles (made from lecithins or other lipids) that are used for the delivery of a variety of biological molecules or molecular complexes to cells, for example, drug delivery and gene transfer. They are also used to study membranes and membrane proteins.ThionesFumonisins: A group of MYCOTOXINS found in CORN contaminated with FUSARIUM fungus. They are chains of about 20 carbons with acidic ester, acetylamino and sometimes other substituents. They inhibit ceramide synthetase conversion of SPHINGOLIPIDS to CERAMIDES.4-Chloro-7-nitrobenzofurazan: A benzofuran derivative used as a protein reagent since the terminal N-NBD-protein conjugate possesses interesting fluorescence and spectral properties. It has also been used as a covalent inhibitor of both beef heart mitochondrial ATPase and bacterial ATPase.Hydrolysis: The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.Phospholipases: A class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphoglycerides or glycerophosphatidates. EC 3.1.-.Membrane Fluidity: The motion of phospholipid molecules within the lipid bilayer, dependent on the classes of phospholipids present, their fatty acid composition and degree of unsaturation of the acyl chains, the cholesterol concentration, and temperature.Choline: A basic constituent of lecithin that is found in many plants and animal organs. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism.Cnidarian Venoms: Venoms from jellyfish; CORALS; SEA ANEMONES; etc. They contain hemo-, cardio-, dermo- , and neuro-toxic substances and probably ENZYMES. They include palytoxin, sarcophine, and anthopleurine.Unilamellar Liposomes: Single membrane vesicles, generally made of PHOSPHOLIPIDS.Lipids: A generic term for fats and lipoids, the alcohol-ether-soluble constituents of protoplasm, which are insoluble in water. They comprise the fats, fatty oils, essential oils, waxes, phospholipids, glycolipids, sulfolipids, aminolipids, chromolipids (lipochromes), and fatty acids. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Golgi Apparatus: A stack of flattened vesicles that functions in posttranslational processing and sorting of proteins, receiving them from the rough ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM and directing them to secretory vesicles, LYSOSOMES, or the CELL MEMBRANE. The movement of proteins takes place by transfer vesicles that bud off from the rough endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus and fuse with the Golgi, lysosomes or cell membrane. (From Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Lysophosphatidylcholines: Derivatives of PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINES obtained by their partial hydrolysis which removes one of the fatty acid moieties.Cyclopentanes: A group of alicyclic hydrocarbons with the general formula R-C5H9.Bridged Compounds: Cyclic hydrocarbons that contain multiple rings and share one or more atoms.Neutral Ceramidase: A ceramidase subtype that is active at neutral pH. It is found at high levels within the SMALL INTESTINE and in the BRAIN.Toxins, Biological: Specific, characterizable, poisonous chemicals, often PROTEINS, with specific biological properties, including immunogenicity, produced by microbes, higher plants (PLANTS, TOXIC), or ANIMALS.Detergents: Purifying or cleansing agents, usually salts of long-chain aliphatic bases or acids, that exert cleansing (oil-dissolving) and antimicrobial effects through a surface action that depends on possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.Lipid Metabolism: Physiological processes in biosynthesis (anabolism) and degradation (catabolism) of LIPIDS.Calorimetry, Differential Scanning: Differential thermal analysis in which the sample compartment of the apparatus is a differential calorimeter, allowing an exact measure of the heat of transition independent of the specific heat, thermal conductivity, and other variables of the sample.Glycosphingolipids: Lipids containing at least one monosaccharide residue and either a sphingoid or a ceramide (CERAMIDES). They are subdivided into NEUTRAL GLYCOSPHINGOLIPIDS comprising monoglycosyl- and oligoglycosylsphingoids and monoglycosyl- and oligoglycosylceramides; and ACIDIC GLYCOSPHINGOLIPIDS which comprises sialosylglycosylsphingolipids (GANGLIOSIDES); SULFOGLYCOSPHINGOLIPIDS (formerly known as sulfatides), glycuronoglycosphingolipids, and phospho- and phosphonoglycosphingolipids. (From IUPAC's webpage)Octoxynol: Nonionic surfactant mixtures varying in the number of repeating ethoxy (oxy-1,2-ethanediyl) groups. They are used as detergents, emulsifiers, wetting agents, defoaming agents, etc. Octoxynol-9, the compound with 9 repeating ethoxy groups, is a spermatocide.DiglyceridesFluorescence Polarization: Measurement of the polarization of fluorescent light from solutions or microscopic specimens. It is used to provide information concerning molecular size, shape, and conformation, molecular anisotropy, electronic energy transfer, molecular interaction, including dye and coenzyme binding, and the antigen-antibody reaction.Fatty Acids: Organic, monobasic acids derived from hydrocarbons by the equivalent of oxidation of a methyl group to an alcohol, aldehyde, and then acid. Fatty acids are saturated and unsaturated (FATTY ACIDS, UNSATURATED). (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Phosphatidylserines: Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to a serine moiety. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid and serine and 2 moles of fatty acids.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Temperature: The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.Cyclodextrins: A homologous group of cyclic GLUCANS consisting of alpha-1,4 bound glucose units obtained by the action of cyclodextrin glucanotransferase on starch or similar substrates. The enzyme is produced by certain species of Bacillus. Cyclodextrins form inclusion complexes with a wide variety of substances.Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases: A class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of one of the two ester bonds in a phosphodiester compound. EC 3.1.4.Phosphatidylglycerols: A nitrogen-free class of lipids present in animal and particularly plant tissues and composed of one mole of glycerol and 1 or 2 moles of phosphatidic acid. Members of this group differ from one another in the nature of the fatty acids released on hydrolysis.Molecular Conformation: The characteristic three-dimensional shape of a molecule.Galactosylgalactosylglucosylceramidase: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of a ceramidetrihexoside to a ceramidedihexoside plus galactose.Laurates: Salts and esters of the 12-carbon saturated monocarboxylic acid--lauric acid.Membranes, Artificial: Artificially produced membranes, such as semipermeable membranes used in artificial kidney dialysis (RENAL DIALYSIS), monomolecular and bimolecular membranes used as models to simulate biological CELL MEMBRANES. These membranes are also used in the process of GUIDED TISSUE REGENERATION.Type C Phospholipases: A subclass of phospholipases that hydrolyze the phosphoester bond found in the third position of GLYCEROPHOSPHOLIPIDS. Although the singular term phospholipase C specifically refers to an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE (EC 3.1.4.3), it is commonly used in the literature to refer to broad variety of enzymes that specifically catalyze the hydrolysis of PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOLS.Gangliosides: A subclass of ACIDIC GLYCOSPHINGOLIPIDS. They contain one or more sialic acid (N-ACETYLNEURAMINIC ACID) residues. Using the Svennerholm system of abbrevations, gangliosides are designated G for ganglioside, plus subscript M, D, or T for mono-, di-, or trisialo, respectively, the subscript letter being followed by a subscript arabic numeral to indicated sequence of migration in thin-layer chromatograms. (From Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1997)