Phosphatidylglycerol is an anionic phospholipid that makes up the biological membranes of animals, plants, and microorganisms. PG is a precursor to cardiolipin which is exclusively present in the inner membranes of mitochondria in eukaryotes. PG can be the second most abundant phospholipid in lung surfactant. Together with phosphatidylinositol (PI), PG plays a key role in the regulation of the innate immune response in the lungs. This immune response is brought about in part by attenuating inflammation produced by bacterial lipopolysaccharides and in part by blocking certain viral infections. PG helps disrupt the binding of virus particles to the plasma membrane. The full function of PG in humans is being slowly revealed and much is left to be determined.

Lysophosphatidylglycerol (LPG) has been reported to prevent the binding of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) to LPA receptors on the cell surface in mice. It also has been reported to block the increase of intracellular calcium induced by LPA in ovarian cancer cells. LPG is also linked to the stimulation of several signaling molecules and to stimulate the chemotactic migration and tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The roles and functions of LPG are still vastly undetermined much like those of PG.

Miki Hagio, Isamu Sakurai, Shusei Sato, Tomohiko Kato, Satoshi Tabata, Hajime Wada, Phosphatidylglycerol is Essential for the Development of Thylakoid Membranes in Arabidopsis thaliana, Plant and Cell Physiology, Volume 43, Issue 12, 15 December 2002, Pages 1456–1464,

Shim, J.; Jo, S.; Kim, S.; Lee, H.; Yun, J.; Bae, Y-S. Lysophosphatidylglycerol inhibits formyl peptide receptor like-1-stimulated chemotactic migration and IL-1$ production from human phagocytes. Experimental and Molecular Medicine. (2009). Volume 41, 584-591.