Phospholipid Remodeling in Physiology and Disease

Bo Wang, Peter Tontonoz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Phospholipids are major constituents of biological membranes. The fatty acyl chain composition of phospholipids determines the biophysical properties of membranes and thereby affects their impact on biological processes. The composition of fatty acyl chains is also actively regulated through a deacylation and reacylation pathway called Lands' cycle. Recent studies of mouse genetic models have demonstrated that lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferases (LPCATs), which catalyze the incorporation of fatty acyl chains into the sn-2 site of phosphatidylcholine, play important roles in pathophysiology. Two LPCAT family members, LPCAT1 and LPCAT3, have been particularly well studied. LPCAT1 is crucial for proper lung function due to its role in pulmonary surfactant biosynthesis. LPCAT3 maintains systemic lipid homeostasis by regulating lipid absorption in intestine, lipoprotein secretion, and de novo lipogenesis in liver. Mounting evidence also suggests that changes in LPCAT activity may be potentially involved in pathological conditions, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, viral infections, and cancer. Pharmacological manipulation of LPCAT activity and membrane phospholipid composition may provide new therapeutic options for these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-188
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual review of physiology
StatePublished - Feb 10 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cholesterol metabolism
  • intestinal homeostasis
  • lipid metabolism
  • lipogenesis
  • lipoprotein production
  • lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase
  • phospholipid remodeling
  • surfactant biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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