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Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids

Transport of fatty acids across membranes by the diffusion mechanism.


PMID 10471111

Abstract

In early research on fatty acid transport, passive diffusion seemed to provide an adequate explanation for movement of fatty acids through the membrane bilayer. This simple hypothesis was later challenged by the discovery of several proteins that appeared to be membrane-related fatty acid transporters. In addition, some biophysical studies suggested that fatty acids moved slowly through the simple model membranes (phospholipid bilayers), which would provide a rationale for protein-assisted transport. Furthermore, it was difficult to rationalize how fatty acids could diffuse passively across the bilayer as anions. Newer studies have shown that fatty acids are present in membranes in the un-ionized as well as the ionized form, and that the un-ionized form can cross a protein-free phospholipid bilayer quickly. This flip-flop mechanism has been validated in cells by intracellular pH measurements. The role of putative fatty acid transport proteins remains to be clarified.

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H7021
2-Hydroxyhexadecanoic acid, ≥98% (capillary GC)
C16H32O3