Bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate, a peculiar phospholipid to control the fate of cholesterol: Implications in pathology

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2009 Nov-Dec;81(5-6):313-24. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Oct 25.


Bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP) is a structural isomer of phosphatidylglycerol that exhibits an unusual sn1:sn1' stereoconfiguration, based on the position of the phosphate moiety on its two glycerol units. Early works have underlined the high concentration of BMP in the lysosomal compartment, especially during some lysosomal storage disorders and drug-induced phospholipidosis. Despite numerous studies, both biosynthetic and degradative pathways of BMP remained not completely elucidated. More recently, BMP has been localized in the internal membranes of late endosomes where it forms specialized lipid domains. Its involvement in both dynamics and lipid/protein sorting functions of late endosomes has started to be documented, especially in the control of cellular cholesterol distribution. BMP also plays an important role in the late endosomal/lysosomal degradative pathway. Another peculiarity of BMP is to be naturally enriched in docosahexaenoic acid and/or to specifically incorporate this fatty acid compared to other polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may confer specific biophysical and functional properties to this phospholipid. This review summarizes and updates our knowledge on BMP with an emphasis on its possible implication in human health and diseases, especially in relation to cholesterol homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / etiology
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipidoses / chemically induced
  • Lipidoses / metabolism
  • Lysophospholipids / chemistry
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Lysophospholipids / physiology*
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / etiology
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Monoglycerides / chemistry
  • Monoglycerides / metabolism
  • Monoglycerides / physiology*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / physiology


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Monoglycerides
  • Phospholipids
  • bis(monoacylglyceryl)phosphate
  • Cholesterol