Journal Browser

Journal Browser

The Multiple Structural, Physiological, and Biochemical Roles of Fatty Acids (Volume II)

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024)

Special Issue Editors

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, New York, NY, USA
Interests: comparative biochemistry; ecological biochemistry; physiological ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: aquatic food webs; fatty acid bioconversion; lipid metabolism; carotenoids; metabolomics; breast cancer metabolism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
iBB – Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: bacterial adaptation; marine biotechnology; biocatalysis; bioreactors; bioprocess engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


Fatty acids (FAs) are especially suitable as tools to examine processes that range from the cellular to organismal levels of organization. Lipids comprise a large group of chemically heterogeneous compounds, the majority of which include esters of FAs as part of their structure. FAs thus represent the “building blocks” of many lipid classes and are the largest constituent of neutral lipids, such as triacylglycerols (TAGs) and wax esters (WEs), that have both energy storage and structural functions. FAs are also part of the polar phospholipids which are important structural components of cellular membranes. Free FAs (FFAs) can be used directly for energy production through beta-oxidation whilst there are indications that some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have nutritionally stabilizing functions. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are precursors to eicosanoid signaling molecules such as prostaglandins prostacyclins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. FA-derived metabolites (e.g., oxylipins) may also mediate chemical interactions controlling herbivory patterns and reproduction of aquatic organisms with implications for the functioning of aquatic food webs.


Studies on FAs and their metabolism are important in several research fields including biology, microbiology, ecology, physiology, and oncology. Specific FA types and their ratios in the cellular membranes of organisms may be used as biomarkers to aid in the identification of organisms, food web connections, or to study adaptations of bacterial cells to toxic compounds or environmental conditions. Specialized plasma membrane lipids allow bacteria and archaea to live under extreme conditions, such as those found in abyssal marine trenches or hot vents, where they form the base of the local food web. The ability exhibited by actinomycetes to thrive under conditions fatal to other bacteria is ascribed to the presence of mycolic acids (a group of long-chain FAs) in its unusually robust cell wall. Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells in the human lung enter a dormant state within granulomas where they survive by incorporating FA from the host triacylglycerols into lipid droplets. Alterations in FA metabolism in cancer cells are increasingly recognized and more attention is being devoted to the fact that in these cells, carbon must be diverted from energy production to FA for biosynthesis of membranes and signaling molecules.


Lipid and FA research has gained considerable applied importance in human nutrition and health as humans are “top predators” that require essential dietary nutrients in their diet, and many signal and disease related mechanisms involve lipid components. In humans, PUFAs such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) play key roles in heart health, immune and inflammatory responses, visual acuity as well as being major components of the central nervous system. Consumer health trends further contribute to the current interest in lipids as the debate over the benefits and risks of PUFAs, as well as trans-unsaturated and hydrogenated FAs, for human health appear daily in the media.

In this Special Issue, we intend to highlight the relevance of FA studies to answer important questions in different research fields, including the relationship between lipid molecular structure and biochemical function.

Dr. Craig Frank
Dr. Maria José Caramujo
Dr. Carla C. C. R. de Carvalho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Free Fatty Acid (FFA)
  • Triacylglycerol (TAG)
  • Wax Ester (WE)
  • Phospholipid (PL)
  • Monoenoic Fatty Acid (MUFA)
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA)
  • Omega-3 (ω3
  • n-3) Fatty Acid
  • Mycolic Acid
  • Cholesterol Ester (CE).

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
Back to TopTop