Phosphatidylcholine (PC) was first found to be a component of egg yolk and originally called “lecithin”. PC is the most abundant phospholipid in cells and positively influences the incorporation of cholesterol in membranes. Sphingomyelin synthesis is also dependent on its PC precursor. PC has been linked to several biological processes including intracellular cholesterol transport and membrane cholesterol homeostasis. Other roles include membrane-mediated cell signaling and PCTP activation of enzymes.

Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) has increasingly gained recognition as a factor associated with cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. LPC is primarily produced by PC turnover via phospholipase A2. LPC is recycled to PC when Acyl-CoA is available in the presence of lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase (LPCAT). Research is currently being conducted to better understand enzyme kinetics and LPC metabolism to identify possible therapeutic targets for LPC-associated diseases.

Lagace TA. Phosphatidylcholine: Greasing the Cholesterol Transport Machinery. Lipid Insights. 2016;8(Suppl 1):65-73. Published 2016 Apr 4. doi:10.4137/LPI.S31746

Law SH, Chan ML, Marathe GK, Parveen F, Chen CH, Ke LY. An Updated Review of Lysophosphatidylcholine Metabolism in Human Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(5):1149. Published 2019 Mar 6. doi:10.3390/ijms20051149