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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 319505, 22 pages
Review Article

Nonenzymatic Reactions above Phospholipid Surfaces of Biological Membranes: Reactivity of Phospholipids and Their Oxidation Derivatives

1Institut d’Investigació en Ciències de la Salut (IUNICS), Departament de Química, Universitat de les Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Palma, 07010 Palma, Spain

Received 16 December 2014; Revised 24 March 2015; Accepted 25 March 2015

Academic Editor: Luciano Pirola

Copyright © 2015 Christian Solís-Calero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phospholipids play multiple and essential roles in cells, as components of biological membranes. Although phospholipid bilayers provide the supporting matrix and surface for many enzymatic reactions, their inherent reactivity and possible catalytic role have not been highlighted. As other biomolecules, phospholipids are frequent targets of nonenzymatic modifications by reactive substances including oxidants and glycating agents which conduct to the formation of advanced lipoxidation end products (ALEs) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). There are some theoretical studies about the mechanisms of reactions related to these processes on phosphatidylethanolamine surfaces, which hypothesize that cell membrane phospholipids surface environment could enhance some reactions through a catalyst effect. On the other hand, the phospholipid bilayers are susceptible to oxidative damage by oxidant agents as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Molecular dynamics simulations performed on phospholipid bilayers models, which include modified phospholipids by these reactions and subsequent reactions that conduct to formation of ALEs and AGEs, have revealed changes in the molecular interactions and biophysical properties of these bilayers as consequence of these reactions. Then, more studies are desirable which could correlate the biophysics of modified phospholipids with metabolism in processes such as aging and diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.