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How Is Phospholipids Be Used To Form Membranes

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Phospholipids • Phospholipids are similar to triglycerides in they consist of a glycerol 'backbone' and fatty acid 'tails', however, the third fatty acid has been replaced by a phosphate group 'head'. • While the fatty acid 'tails' are hydrophobic, the phosphate 'head' is hydrophilic. This means the phosphate group will orientate itself towards water and away from the rest of the molecule, and also gives rise to the special properties that allow phospholipids to be used to form membranes. • Phospholipids can contain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. This allows for the control of the fluidity of membranes, which is useful, for example, in maintaining membrane fluidity at low temperatures.
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