Sphingolipids are a type of lipid that are made up of a sphingosine backbone attached to one fatty acid tail through an amide linkage. Additionally, sphingolipids contain a variable polar head group. Sphingolipids are amphipathic molecules, and function to maintain structural integrity of our cell membranes.

Key Points

  • Sphingolipids
    • Structure:
      • Backbone: Sphingosine
      • Attachments:
        • 1 Fatty Acid Tail
          • Connected to amino group of sphingosine via amide linkage
        • 1 Variable Polar Head Group
    • Role:
      • Structural component in cell membrane
    • Amphipathic