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Role of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in the regulation of lipoprotein homeostasis

Vance, Dennis E

Current Opinion in Lipidology: June 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 229–234
doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3282fee935
Lipid metabolism: Edited by Jeffrey S. Cohn

Purpose of review This review summarizes the role of phosphatidylcholine metabolism in plasma lipoprotein homeostasis.

Recent findings While it was previously known that phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis was required for normal hepatic VLDL secretion, recent studies have shown that both phosphatidylcholine biosynthetic pathways (the cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine and the phosphatidylethanolamine methylation pathways) are required. In addition, a requirement of acyl-coenzyme A synthetase 3, but not acyl-coenzyme A synthetase 1 or 4, for phosphatidylcholine synthesis and VLDL secretion is now documented. ABCA1 has been implicated in the transfer of phosphatidylcholine to apolipoproteinA-1 both during and after secretion of apolipoproteinA-1. Other studies have introduced the concept of reverse phosphatidylcholine transport in which both HDL and LDL supply phosphatidylcholine to the liver. An unexpected finding is that half of the phosphatidylcholine delivered to liver from lipoproteins is converted into triacylglycerol.

Summary The liver is both a donor of phosphatidylcholine during the assembly and secretion of lipoproteins as well as a recipient of phosphatidylcholine from plasma lipoproteins.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Correspondence to Dennis E. Vance, PhD, FRSC, Professor of Biochemistry and Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada Tel: +1 780 492 8286; fax: +1 780 492 3383; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.