Myristic acid, also called tetradecanoic acid or 14:0 is a common saturated fatty acid with the molecular formula CH3(CH2)12COOH. A myristate is a salt or ester of myristic acid.
Myristic acid is named after the Nutmeg Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg butter is 75% trimyristin, the triglyceride of myristic acid. Besides nutmeg, myristic acid is also found in palm oil, coconut oil, butter fat, and spermacetin, the crystallized fraction of oil from the sperm whale.
Myristic acid is also commonly added co-translationally to the penultimate, nitrogen-terminus, glycine in receptor-associated kinases to confer the membrane localisation of the enzyme. The myristic acid has a sufficiently high hydrophobicity to become incorporated into the fatty acyl core of the phospholipid bilayer of the plasma membrane of the eukaryotic cell. In this way, myristic acid acts as a lipid anchor in biomembranes.
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