Chemistry of Life

Molecular genetics, biochemistry

amphipathic

An amphipathic, or amphiphilic molecule contains both nonpolar hydrophobic and polar hydrophilic groups.The hydrophobic group can be a long carbon chain, of the form: CH3(CH2)n, where n is greater than 4 and less than 16. Biologically important amphoteric molecules are the phospolipids, one of the main constituents of biological membranes, which naturally form bilayers. The phospolipid cell membrane insulates the cells from the surrounding medium.

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. . . transcription begun 10/06/06