Lipidology and lipidomics - Quo vadis? A new era for the physical chemistry of lipids

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Our picture of lipid membranes has come a long way since Gorter and Grendel in 1925 formulated the lipid bilayer hypothesis. Most modern textbook models of membranes are based on the Singer-Nicolson model from 1972, although we have in recent years seen significant amendments to this model, not least fuelled by the finding of lipid membrane domains and the subsequent 'raft rush'. The science of lipids, lipidology, has now become an established discipline, acknowledging that lipids organize in space and time and display emergent physico-chemical properties that are beyond the chemical nature of the individual molecules and which collectively control membrane function. Recently, lipidomics has been followed as a new discipline in the omics-sequel, characterized by an explosion in detailed data for lipid profiles of tissues, cells, and subcellular components. The focus is now swinging toward enumerating individual lipid species, determining their identity, and quantitating their amount. Time is ripe to marry the two disciplines, both in order to take lipidomics beyond the stage of 'stamp collection' and in order to incorporate into the lipidology approach the new knowledge about the individual lipid species. As an important matchmaker for this marriage, the physical chemistry of lipids in lipid bilayers and membranes is entering a new era of renaissance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number43
Pages (from-to)19195-19205
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ID: 230975620