Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 45–62 | Cite as

Archaeal tetraether lipids

Unique structures and applications
  • Michael J. Hanford
  • Tonya L. PeeplesEmail author


The extremely stable biomolecules manufactured by organisms from extreme environments are of great scientific and engineering interest in the development of robust and stable industrial biocatalysts. Identification of molecules that impart stability under extremes will also have a profound impact on our understanding of cellular survival. This review discusses isolation and characterization of archaeal tetraethers as well as target technologies for tetraether lipid application. The isolation and characterization of archaeal tetraether lipids has led to some interesting applications improving on ester lipid technologies. Potential applications include novel lubricants, gene-delivery systems, monolayer lipid matrices for sensor devices, and protein stabilization. Following this review, patent abstracts and additional literature pertaining to the isolation, characterization, and application of archaeal membrane lipids are listed.

Index Entries

Tetraether archaea liposomes ether lipids glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether glycerol dialkyl nonitol tetraether extremophiles archaeosome proteoliposome Langmuir-Blodgett films 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Center for Biocatalysis and BioprocessingThe University of IowaIowa City

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