• List the eight common properties of all cell membranes.
  • Referring to table 12.1 

Be able to match the structures of Laurate through Arachidate to their names.
Be able to match the structures of Palmitoleate through Arachidonate to their names.
Be able to draw the structure of a fatty acid from its systematic name.

  • Why do the melting temperatures of fatty acids decrease with decreasing chain length and increased saturation?
  • Explain the difference in the melting points of trans-oleic acid (44.5oC) and cis-oleic acid (13.4oC).
  • What are three basic types of cell membrane lipids? How do they differ from fats (energy storage lipids)?
  • Describe the basic structure of a phospholipid.
  • Be able to construct a phospholipid from its basic parts.
  • Draw the glycerophospholipid 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-3-phosphatidylcholine.
  • What is the difference between sphingomyelin and glycerol?
  • Know the basic hierarchy of Sphingolipids:

                        Ceremides (basic unit)
                        |            |                        |
   Sphingomyelin     Cerebrosides      Gangliosides


  • Why are cell membrane lipids described as amphipathic molecules?
  • Fatty acids and phospholipids are both amphipathic. Why do FAs readily form micelles but phospholipids do not?
  • The hydrophobic effect is the energetic driving force for cell membrane formation. Explain. Would you expect DS for the formation of cell membranes to be positive or negative?
  • What other forces stabilize the cell membrane?
  • Why is the cell membrane impermeable to polar compounds?
  • What is the difference between a liposome and a cell membrane?