This chapter discusses the current state of knowledge and indicates key experimental findings on the role individual phospholipid classes play in determining Escherichia coli membrane structure and function. Special emphasis is placed on the polymorphic behavior of the membrane lipids and the role of nonbilayer lipids. The availability of mutants in the biosynthesis of the major phospholipids has made this bacterial membrane a paradigm for understanding the relationships between lipid structure and membrane organization. Many minor membrane lipids appear to be essential in cellular signaling pathways or otherwise have a high bioactivity. Similar functions were also proposed for more abundant lipid classes. Despite these exciting developments, it remains unclear why membranes are composed of so many different bulk lipid classes. The way the lipids fulfill these and other specific functions is largely unknown.
|Name||Current Topics in Membranes|