Encyclopedia of Lipidomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Markus R. Wenk


  • Gerhard Liebisch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7864-1_4-1
Lysolipids are derivatives of lipids resulting from hydrolytic removal of an acyl chain. In most cases, lyso- is used for glycerophospholipids when one of the two acyl groups has been removed. A number in front of lyso- indicates the site of hydrolysis, 2-lyso- designating hydrolysis at position 2, leaving a free hydroxyl group at this carbon atom. The “lyso-” term originated from the fact that these compounds may act as detergents and induce hemolysis (Levene et al. 1924). Apart from glycerophospholipids, lyso- is used for sphingolipids as, for example, lysosphingomyelin (sphingosylphosphorylcholine, removal of the amide-bound acyl chain) (Fig. 1). LIPID MAPS proposed a more general term (Fahy et al. 2005): “Lyso-” is denoting the position lacking a radyl group in glycerolipids and glycerophospholipids (“radyl-” is used when the type of substituent, i.e. acyl, alkyl, or alk-1’-enyl, at the glycerol backbone cannot be specified).


Carbon Atom General Term Acyl Chain Free Hydroxyl Glycerol Backbone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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  1. Levene PA, Rolf IP, Simms HS. Lysolecithins and lysocephalins: ii. isolation properties of lysolecithins and lysocephalins. J Biol Chem. 1924;58:859–71.Google Scholar
  2. Fahy E, Subramaniam S, Brown HA, Glass CK, Merrill AH, Jr., Murphy RC, Raetz CR, Russell DW, Seyama Y, Shaw W, Shimizu T, Spener F, van Meer G, Vannieuwenhze MS, White SH, Witztum JL, Dennis EA (2005) A comprehensive classification system for lipids. J Lipid Res 46:839–861Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory MedicineUniversity Hospital RegensburgRegensburgGermany