Hopanoid is a chemical component in the cytoplasmic membranes of many bacteria. Hopanoid is a pentacyclic saturated derivative of mevalonic acid (mevalonic acid is a key intermediate in cholesterol biosynthesis) and is assumed to be functioning in a similar way to sterols, which serve to stabilize the structure of eukaryotic membranes. While sterols can make up 5-25 percent of the total lipids of eukaryotic membranes, they are absent from most of the prokaryotic membranes.
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