Role of Phosphatidylcholine During Neuronal Differentiation

IUBMB Life. 2011 Sep;63(9):714-20. doi: 10.1002/iub.521. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Neuronal differentiation is characterized by neuritogenesis and neurite outgrowth, processes, which are critically dependent on membrane biosynthesis, and therefore, on the expression and regulation of enzymes involved in phospholipid biosynthesis. During the last decade a great effort was made to clarify where membrane lipids are synthesized, how the newly synthesized membrane components reach the membrane and are inserted during neuritogenesis and to elucidate the mechanism by which the supply of new membrane components is coordinated with the demand for growth. Phosphatidylcholine is the principal and essential component for mammalian membranes. This review updates the mechanism by which phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis takes place and how it is coordinately regulated during neuronal differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Choline Kinase / metabolism
  • Choline-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase / metabolism
  • Diacylglycerol Cholinephosphotransferase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / biosynthesis*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism*


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Choline Kinase
  • Choline-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase
  • Diacylglycerol Cholinephosphotransferase