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IUBMB Life. 2011 Sep;63(9):714-20. doi: 10.1002/iub.521. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Role of phosphatidylcholine during neuronal differentiation.

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IBR (Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Área Biología, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Suipacha 531, Rosario, Argentina.


Neuronal differentiation is characterized by neuritogenesis and neurite outgrowth, processes, which are critically dependent on membrane biosynthesis, and therefore, on the expression and regulation of enzymes involved in phospholipid biosynthesis. During the last decade a great effort was made to clarify where membrane lipids are synthesized, how the newly synthesized membrane components reach the membrane and are inserted during neuritogenesis and to elucidate the mechanism by which the supply of new membrane components is coordinated with the demand for growth. Phosphatidylcholine is the principal and essential component for mammalian membranes. This review updates the mechanism by which phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis takes place and how it is coordinately regulated during neuronal differentiation.

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