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Regulation of mammalian cell membrane biosynthesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


This review explores current information on the interrelationship between phospholipid biochemistry and cell biology. Phosphatidylcholine is the most abundant phospholipid and it biosynthesis has been studied extensively. The choline cytidylyltransferase regulates phosphatidylcholine production, and recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that govern cytidylyltransferase include the discovery of multiple isoforms and a more complete understanding of the lipid regulation of enzyme activity. Similarities between phosphatidylcholine formation and the phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol biosynthetic pathways are discussed, together with current insight into control mechanisms. Membrane phospholipid doubling during cell cycle progression is a function of periodic biosynthesis and degradation. Membrane homeostasis is maintained by a phospholipase A-mediated degradation of excess phospholipid, whereas insufficient phosphatidylcholine triggers apoptosis in cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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