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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2016;321:29-88. doi: 10.1016/bs.ircmb.2015.10.001. Epub 2015 Oct 31.

Phosphatidylethanolamine Metabolism in Health and Disease.

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Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is the second most abundant glycerophospholipid in eukaryotic cells. The existence of four only partially redundant biochemical pathways that produce PE, highlights the importance of this essential phospholipid. The CDP-ethanolamine and phosphatidylserine decarboxylase pathways occur in different subcellular compartments and are the main sources of PE in cells. Mammalian development fails upon ablation of either pathway. Once made, PE has diverse cellular functions that include serving as a precursor for phosphatidylcholine and a substrate for important posttranslational modifications, influencing membrane topology, and promoting cell and organelle membrane fusion, oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial biogenesis, and autophagy. The importance of PE metabolism in mammalian health has recently emerged following its association with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, nonalcoholic liver disease, and the virulence of certain pathogenic organisms.


Alzheimer's disease; CDP-ethanolamine; Parkinson's disease; autophagy; mitochondria; phosphatidylethanolamine; phosphatidylserine decarboxylase

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