Cholesterol

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[[Cholesterol|Cholesterol]] is a steroidal lipid found in all animals in the [[Plasma_membrane|plasma membrane]], and can be present in some intracellular membranes but normally at lower levels.  
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[[Cholesterol|Cholesterol]] is a steroidal lipid found in all animals in the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]], and can be present in some intracellular membranes but normally at lower levels.  
  
=== Structure: ===
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=== Structure  ===
  
[[Cholesterol|Cholesterol]] is made up of three sections, the [[Steroid|steroid]] component at one end attached to four [[Hydrocarbon|hydrocarbon]] rings, on the other end is a hydroxly group.  
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[[Cholesterol|Cholesterol]] is made up of three sections, the [[Steroid|steroid]] component at one end attached to four [[Hydrocarbon|hydrocarbon]] rings, on the other end, is a hydroxyl group.  
  
=== Function: ===
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=== Function  ===
  
Cholesterol is positioned in the [[Lipid_bi-layer|lipid bilayer ]]parallel&nbsp;to the fatty acid chains of the [[Phosphlipid|phosopholipids]], and the [[Hydrophilic|hydrophilic]] hydroxyl group interacts with the hydrophilic head of the phospholipid, <ref>Berg J, Tymoczko J, Stryer L (2012), Biochemistry, seventh edition, W.H. Freeman and Company, Basinstoke. p362</ref>. Cholesterol is needed in the membrane to alter the fluidity of the bilayer which affects the function of the membrane and therefore the specific cell. Cholesterol can increase the rigidity of the cell membrane, by doing this the membrane becomes less permeable to water soluble molecules. However it is important to remember that it doesn't make the membranes less fluid. &nbsp;At high concentration cholesterol prevents the hydrocarbon chains in the membrane from crystallizing.&nbsp;High concentrations are found in most eukaryotic cells for example the [[Liver cells|liver cell and]] [[Red blood cells|red blood cells.]]&nbsp;<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Morgan, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2015). Molecular Biology of The Cell. 6th ed. New York: Garland Science. 571.</ref>&nbsp;It is also inportant in the production of steriodal hormones, including male and female sex hormones, [[Vitamin D|Vitamin D]] and producing [[Bile Salts|Bile Salts&nbsp;in]] the Liver. It can also plan an important role in the [[Myelin Sheath|Myelin Sheath]] in [[Neuron|neurones]]&nbsp;<ref>Miezam Cayrol, Enzine Articles. (2007, Dec 12) http://ezinearticles.com/?Knowing-Cholesterol-and-Its-5-Main-Functions&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;id=869678</ref>  
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Cholesterol is positioned in the [[Lipid bi-layer|lipid bilayer parallel]] to the fatty acid chains of the [[Phosphlipid|phosopholipids]], and the [[Hydrophilic|hydrophilic]] hydroxyl group interacts with the hydrophilic head of the phospholipid<ref>Berg J, Tymoczko J, Stryer L (2012), Biochemistry, seventh edition, W.H. Freeman and Company, Basingstoke. p362</ref>. Cholesterol is needed in the membrane to alter the fluidity of the bilayer which affects the function of the membrane and therefore the specific cell. Cholesterol can increase the rigidity of the cell membrane, by doing this the membrane becomes less permeable to water-soluble molecules. However, it is important to remember that it doesn't make the membranes less fluid. At high concentration cholesterol prevents the hydrocarbon chains in the membrane from crystallizing. High concentrations are found in most eukaryotic cells, for example, the [[Liver cells|liver cell and]] [[Red blood cells|red blood cells]]<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Morgan, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2015). Molecular Biology of The Cell. 6th ed. New York: Garland Science. 571.</ref>. It is also important in the production of steroidal hormones, including male and female sex hormones, [[Vitamin D|Vitamin D]] and producing [[Bile Salts|Bile Salts in]] the Liver. It can also plan an important role in the [[Myelin Sheath|Myelin Sheath]] in [[Neuron|neurones]]<ref>Miezam Cayrol, Enzine Articles. (2007, Dec 12) http://ezinearticles.com/?Knowing-Cholesterol-and-Its-5-Main-Functions</ref>.
  
 
There are two main types of Cholesterol and two minor types:  
 
There are two main types of Cholesterol and two minor types:  
  
==== Major forms:<br> ====
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==== Major forms  ====
  
LDL - [[Low density lipoproteins|Low density lipoproteins]] (good cholesterol)<br>
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LDL - [[Low density lipoproteins|Low density lipoproteins]] (good cholesterol)  
  
HDL - [[High density lipoproteins|High density lipoproteins]] (bad cholesterol)<br>
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HDL - [[High density lipoproteins|High density lipoproteins]] (bad cholesterol)  
  
==== Minor forms: ====
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==== Minor forms  ====
  
VLDL - Very low density lipoproteins&nbsp; (very bad forms of cholesterol)  
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VLDL - Very low-density lipoproteins (very bad forms of cholesterol)  
  
Chylomicrons - carry very little cholesterol, but a lot of triglycerides.<br>
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Chylomicrons - carry very little cholesterol, but a lot of triglycerides.  
  
Cholesterol in high density forms can cause such problems as cardiovascular disease and in excess lower density forms can cause Atherosclerosis.  
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Cholesterol in high-density forms can cause such problems as cardiovascular disease and in excess lower density forms can cause Atherosclerosis.  
  
Cholesterol levels can increase with:<br>
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Cholesterol levels can increase with:  
  
 
*Diets high in saturated fats or trans fats  
 
*Diets high in saturated fats or trans fats  
 
*Obesity  
 
*Obesity  
*A sedentary lifestyle&nbsp;<ref>WebMD, LLC (2009) http://www.webmd.boots.com/cholesterol-management/guide/understanding-cholesterol-problems-basics</ref>
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*A sedentary lifestyle<ref>WebMD, LLC (2009) http://www.webmd.boots.com/cholesterol-management/guide/understanding-cholesterol-problems-basics</ref>
  
 
=== References  ===
 
=== References  ===
  
<references /><br>
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<references />

Revision as of 19:38, 4 December 2017

Cholesterol is a steroidal lipid found in all animals in the plasma membrane, and can be present in some intracellular membranes but normally at lower levels.

Contents

Structure

Cholesterol is made up of three sections, the steroid component at one end attached to four hydrocarbon rings, on the other end, is a hydroxyl group.

Function

Cholesterol is positioned in the lipid bilayer parallel to the fatty acid chains of the phosopholipids, and the hydrophilic hydroxyl group interacts with the hydrophilic head of the phospholipid[1]. Cholesterol is needed in the membrane to alter the fluidity of the bilayer which affects the function of the membrane and therefore the specific cell. Cholesterol can increase the rigidity of the cell membrane, by doing this the membrane becomes less permeable to water-soluble molecules. However, it is important to remember that it doesn't make the membranes less fluid. At high concentration cholesterol prevents the hydrocarbon chains in the membrane from crystallizing. High concentrations are found in most eukaryotic cells, for example, the liver cell and red blood cells[2]. It is also important in the production of steroidal hormones, including male and female sex hormones, Vitamin D and producing Bile Salts in the Liver. It can also plan an important role in the Myelin Sheath in neurones[3].

There are two main types of Cholesterol and two minor types:

Major forms

LDL - Low density lipoproteins (good cholesterol)

HDL - High density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol)

Minor forms

VLDL - Very low-density lipoproteins (very bad forms of cholesterol)

Chylomicrons - carry very little cholesterol, but a lot of triglycerides.

Cholesterol in high-density forms can cause such problems as cardiovascular disease and in excess lower density forms can cause Atherosclerosis.

Cholesterol levels can increase with:

References

  1. Berg J, Tymoczko J, Stryer L (2012), Biochemistry, seventh edition, W.H. Freeman and Company, Basingstoke. p362
  2. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Morgan, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2015). Molecular Biology of The Cell. 6th ed. New York: Garland Science. 571.
  3. Miezam Cayrol, Enzine Articles. (2007, Dec 12) http://ezinearticles.com/?Knowing-Cholesterol-and-Its-5-Main-Functions
  4. WebMD, LLC (2009) http://www.webmd.boots.com/cholesterol-management/guide/understanding-cholesterol-problems-basics
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