Dictionary > Cholesterol


A sterol or a modified steroid that is synthesized by animal cells to become an essential component of animal cell membranes
Cholesterol is a structural component of the cell membranes of animals. Because of cholesterol that provides cell membrane structural integrity and fluidity, animal cells need not to have cell walls such as that in bacterial and plant cells. Cholesterol in animal cell membranes also enables the animal cells to change shape and therefore are rather flexible than plant cells (which are less flexible in shape due to the presence of the cell wall).
Cholesterol is found in animal tissues, especially in animal fats and oils, bile, blood, brain tissue, milk, egg yolk, myelin sheaths of nerve fibers, liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands.
In humans, routine checkup to determine the level of cholesterol is important since an abnormally high or low cholesterol levels in the blood may implicate pathological conditions. For instance, increased cholesterol level may be associated with cardiovascular diseases and gallstone formations. Low cholesterol level, in contrast, is linked to chronic kidney disease and depression.
Word origin: Greek chole– (bile) + stereos (solid) + –ol
IUPAC name: (3β)-cholest-5-en-3-ol
Chemical formula: C27H46O
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Cholesterol monooxygenase
  • Cholesterol cleft
  • Cholesterol bad
  • Cholesterol ester storage disease
  • Cholesterol dehydrogenase
  • Cholesterol-5 alpha6 alpha-epoxide hydrase
  • Cholesterol 26-hydroxylase
  • Hdl cholesterol
  • Cholesterol good
  • Cholesterol ester transport proteins
  • Cholesterol esterase
  • Cholesterol embolism
  • Cholesterol dietary
  • Cholesterol ester

    You will also like...

    Water Cycle
    The Water Cycle

    The water cycle (also referred to as the hydrological cycle) is a system of continuous transfer of water from the air, s..

    Water in Plants

    The movement of molecules (specifically, water and solutes) is vital to the understanding of plant processes. This tuto..

    Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
    Temperature Regulation in Animals

    This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    Freshwater lake ecosystem
    Freshwater Producers and Consumers

    Freshwater ecosystem is comprised of four major constituents, namely elements and compounds, plants, consumers, and deco..

    Population Growth and Survivorship
    Population Growth and Survivorship

    This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..