Isoprenoid Glycerol Ethers in Archaean Lipids: Functional Diversity of
Living reference work entry
Archaea The Archaea constitute a separate domain of single-celled organisms besides Bacteria.
Structure and Occurrence
It took some time before microbiologists accepted that archaeal prokaryotes, formerly classified as Archaebacteria, might sufficiently differ from bacteria to justify their classification as a distinct domain in the tree of life (Albers and Meyer 2011). The membrane lipids of Archaea, however, were found out to be comprised of various phospholipids, glycolipids, phosphoglycolipids, and sulpholipids, all of which arise from diphytanylglycerol as basic core structure and thus differ fundamentally from those found in Bacteria and Eukaryotes (Kates 1992). Commonly, the lipid bilayer of Bacteria is formed by fatty acids that are linked to a phosphatidylglycerol or phosphatidylethanolamine backbone by an ester bond (Fig. 1a). In Archaea, by contrast, the alkyl part of the glycerol ester is an isoprenoid (Fig. 1b), the most simple molecules being two C 20...
KeywordsInternal Ring Methyl Cyclohexane Ether Lipid Glycerol Ether Polar Headgroups
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