• Martin Beckerman
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

Cholesterol is essential for eukaryotic life. Cholesterol comprises about 20–25% of the plasma membrane lipids; it is almost entirely absent from the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, but is increasingly present in the endocytic and Golgi compartments. The importance of cholesterol is a consequence of its striking biophysical ability to create a unique state called the liquid-ordered phase. In creating this state, cholesterol increases the cohesion and packing of neighboring lipids. It generates microdomains that differ in their lipid content and are demarcated by semipermeable boundaries, and regulates eukaryotic signaling.

The chapter will begin with an examination of how cholesterol influences the biophysical properties of lipid membrane. Cholesterol is an essential component of cellular membranes. As a result cholesterol homeostasis is maintained at all times in a healthy cell through multiple routes involving SREBPs, Scaps, Insigs, LXRs, and PPARγ. These regulatory pathways...


Bile Acid Lipid Raft Cholesterol Ester Cholesterol Synthesis Free Cholesterol 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oak RidgeUSA

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