Glycerides, also called acylglycerides, can be mono-, di-, or triacylated via reaction with fatty acids to form esters. The various products of the acylation of glycerol are referred to as monoacylglycerols (MG or MAG), diacylglycerols (DG or DAG), or triacylglycerols (TG or TAG). Tissues primarily store fatty acids in the form of triacylglycerols. Triacylglycerols are also called neutral fats due to the loss of negative charge associated with the fatty acids during esterification.

Monoacyl- and diacylglycerides are primarily used as precursors to other biologically relevant molecules in cells. Other applications of monoacyl- and diacylglycerides include use as surfactants and emulsifiers in food additives. Monoacylglycerides also have applications in protein crystallization.

Triacylglycerides are the primary energy-storage compounds found in mammals. Triacylglyceride metabolism plays a key role in cellular energy balance, lipid homeostasis, growth, and maintenance.

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Yen, C.-L. E.; Farese, R. V. MGAT2, a Monoacylglycerol Acyltransferase Expressed in the Small Intestine. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 2003, No. 278, 18532–18537.