Role of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in the regulation of lipoprotein homeostasis

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Purpose of review

This review summarizes the role of phosphatidylcholine metabolism in plasma lipoprotein homeostasis.

Recent findings

While it was previously known that phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis was required for normal hepatic VLDL secretion, recent studies have shown that both phosphatidylcholine biosynthetic pathways (the cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine and the phosphatidylethanolamine methylation pathways) are required. In addition, a requirement of acyl-coenzyme A synthetase 3, but not acyl-coenzyme A synthetase 1 or 4, for phosphatidylcholine synthesis and VLDL secretion is now documented. ABCA1 has been implicated in the transfer of phosphatidylcholine to apolipoproteinA-1 both during and after secretion of apolipoproteinA-1. Other studies have introduced the concept of reverse phosphatidylcholine transport in which both HDL and LDL supply phosphatidylcholine to the liver. An unexpected finding is that half of the phosphatidylcholine delivered to liver from lipoproteins is converted into triacylglycerol.


The liver is both a donor of phosphatidylcholine during the assembly and secretion of lipoproteins as well as a recipient of phosphatidylcholine from plasma lipoproteins.

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