Phases and phase transitions of the phosphatidylcholines

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Jun 29;1376(1):91-145. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4157(98)00006-9.


LIPIDAT ( is an Internet accessible, computerized relational database providing access to the wealth of information scattered throughout the literature concerning synthetic and biologically derived polar lipid polymorphic and mesomorphic phase behavior and molecular structures. Here, a review of the data subset referring to phosphatidylcholines is presented together with an analysis of these data. This subset represents ca. 60% of all LIPIDAT records. It includes data collected over a 43-year period and consists of 12,208 records obtained from 1573 articles in 106 different journals. An analysis of the data in the subset identifies trends in phosphatidylcholine phase behavior reflecting changes in lipid chain length, unsaturation (number, isomeric type and position of double bonds), asymmetry and branching, type of chain-glycerol linkage (ester, ether, amide), position of chain attachment to the glycerol backbone (1,2- vs. 1,3-) and head group modification. Also included is a summary of the data concerning the effect of pressure, pH, stereochemical purity, and different additives such as salts, saccharides, amino acids and alcohols, on phosphatidylcholine phase behavior. Information on the phase behavior of biologically derived phosphatidylcholines is also presented. This review includes 651 references.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Molecular
  • Phosphatidylcholines* / chemistry
  • Thermodynamics


  • Phosphatidylcholines