Fatty Acids and Oxylipins


In addition to being an essential energy source and components of structural lipids, fatty acids have many vital functions not least as precursors of biologically active lipids. These pages describe the structures, occurrence, biochemistry and functions of fatty acids and those fascinating oxygenated fatty acid metabolites collectively known as oxylipins. Thus, in animal tissues, essential polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega-6 and omega-3 families are the biosynthetic precursors of oxylipins, including the eicosanoids (prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes and lipoxins) and docosanoids (protectins, resolvins and maresins), while in plants, hormones and signalling molecules such as the jasmonates are derived from α‑linolenic acid.

These essays are aimed at generalists or those who are new to the subject, especially young scientists - not experts in particular disciplines - but the reading lists at the end of each web page provide for those who require a more specialized knowledge. In addition, the Literature Survey pages contain comprehensive lists of those publications consulted during the writing of this section of the site. These web pages are updated regularly as new information becomes available.


Lipid listings Credits/disclaimer Updated: April 19th, 2021 Author: William W. Christie LipidWeb icon