Lecithin pp 73-83 | Cite as

Control of Lecithin Metabolism

  • Dennis E. Vance
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 33)


The discovery of lecithin has been attributed to M. Gobley in 1847. Lecithin derives it’s name from the Greek word lekithos that means egg yolk. Remarkably, the stoichiometry of the chemical composition of lecithin was elucidated in the 1860’s by Diacknow and Strecker and the chemical synthesis of lecithin was achieved in 1927 by Grun and Limpacher. As has been the case for research in other areas of biology, once the chemistry of a natural product was elucidated, the stage was set for elucidating its biosynthesis. I usually attribute the biochemistry to have begun with the publication in 1932 by Best and Huntsman that choline in the diet would alleviate fatty livers that resulted from lecithin deficiency1. The next major development was Stetten and du Vigneaud’s demonstration in 1941 that it was possible to convert phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to phosphatidylcholine (PC) in rat liver.


HeLa Cell Large Unilamellar Vesicle Choline Kinase Phosphatidylcholine Synthesis Phosphatidylcholine Biosynthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis E. Vance
    • 1
  1. 1.Lipid and Lipoprotein Research Group and Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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