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They are the result of the linkage of a molecule of glycerol (glycerin) with 2 of fatty acid and one of phosphate, this linked in turn to a polar alcohol ("head group").

The example here shown is dilauroyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine
formed by:

  • glycerol (CH2OH-CHOH-CH2OH)
  • 2 molecules of lauric acid (12:0)
  • a phosphate group (-O-PO2-O-)
  • ethanolamine (HO-CH2-CH2-NH2)
formula of dilauroylphosphatidylethanolamine

the components.

It is interesting to the hydrophobic part from the hydrophilic part (this defines the lipid position within biological membranes).