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Tuesday 24 June 2008

Definition: Prenol lipids are synthesized from the 5-carbon precursors isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate that are produced mainly via the mevalonic acid pathway (MVA pathway) .

The simple isoprenoids (linear alcohols, diphosphates, etc.) are formed by the successive addition of C5 units, and are classified according to number of these terpene units. Structures containing greater than 40 carbons are known as polyterpenes.

Carotenoids are important simple isoprenoids that function as anti-oxidants and as precursors of vitamin A.

Another biologically important class of molecules is exemplified by the quinones and hydroquinones, which contain an isoprenoid tail attached to a quinonoid core of non-isoprenoid origin.

Vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as the ubiquinones, are examples of this class. Bacteria synthesize polyprenols (called bactoprenols) in which the terminal isoprenoid unit attached to oxygen remains unsaturated, whereas in animal polyprenols (dolichols) the terminal isoprenoid is reduced.

See also

- lipids