Phospholipids are one of the principle components of cell membranes (in conjunction with membrane proteins)

They are amphipathic molecules, meaning they have clearly discernible hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions

Phospholipids typically share a common basic structure that includes:

  • A polar organic molecule (e.g. choline, serine)
  • A phosphate group
  • A glycerol molecule (replaced by sphingosine in sphingomyelin)
  • Two fatty acid tails (may be saturated or unsaturated)

Chemical Structure of a Phospholipid