Amphipathic

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A term that describes something which is both hydrophillic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-hating).

Amphipathic molecules are most thermodynamically stable with their hydrophilic (polar) regions extending into aqueous environments and their hydrophobic (non-polar) regions being sheilded away from aqueous environments. This is the theroy behind the basic arrangement of the phospholipid bilayer as well as the way that proteins fold into their tertiary and quaternary structures[1].

References

  1. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Gatto GJ, Stryder L. Biochemistry. 8th Ed, New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. 2015. p46-47.
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