About LipidBank

"LipidBank" is an open, publicly free database of natural lipids including fatty acids, glycerolipids, sphingolipids, steroids, and various vitamins.

The database contains more than 6000 unique molecular structures (ChemDraw cdx format, MDL MOL format), their lipid names (common name, IUPAC), spectral information (mass, UV, IR, NMR and others), and most importantly, literature information.

The database lists natural lipids only, and all molecular information is manually curated and approved by experts in lipid research (see Informant in each record).

LipidBank is the official database of the Japanese Conference on the Biochemistry of Lipids (JCBL).

  • Watanabe K., Yasugi E. and Oshima M. "How to search the glycolipid data in LIPIDBANK for Web: the newly developed lipid database" Japan Trend Glycosci. and Glycotechnol. 12, 175-184, 2000.


The project started in 1989 under the executive committee for construction of lipid database. The committee was organized by members of The Japanese Conference on the Biochemistry of Lipids (JCBL) and constructed the first comprehensive lipid database in Japanese (President: Akira Hayashi, Vice-president: Nobuo Ueta, Secretary: Kiyohiro Watanabe). The database included 16 lipid classes: fatty acid, long chain aldehyde, long chain alcohol, long chain base, bile acid, glyceride, phospholipid, glycolipid, lipoprotein, lipopolysaccharide, steroid, prostanoid, ether type lipid, mycolic acid and wax. Each record contained lipid name, biological activity, source, references, structure and spectra. About 2,700 records were collected and saved on floppy discs.
LIPIDBANK for Web (1996 - 1999)
The initial three-year project started as a joint research between the International Medical Center of Japan (IMCJ http://www.imcj.go.jp/) and the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST http://www.jst.go.jp/). A new executive committee was organized (President: Shoshichi Nojima, Vice-president: Mieko Oshima, Secretary: Kiyohiro Watanabe and Etsuko Yasugi). The committee decided to collect the data on 27 lipid classes in English. Molecules in each class were collected independently under 27 team leaders and 122 data informants.
The database became publicly available from October 1999. The database server was placed at the University of Tokyo where the office of JCBL was located. The total number of molecules was about 5400.
Updating LIPIDBANK for Web (1999 - 2005)
After adding one lipid class (lipid peroxides), 28 lipid classes were reorganized into 17 lipid groups. The DERIVED LIPIDS group now includes fatty acid, long chain alcohol, long chain aldehyde, and long chain base and ceramide. The FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMIN group includes carotenoid, coenzyme Q, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The GLYCOLIPID group includes glycosphingolipid, glycoglycerolipid and others. The PHOSPHOLIPID group includes glycerophospholipid, PAF, and sphingophospholipid.
In 2004, JCBL officially established an executive committee (President: Yousuke Seyama, Secretary: Etsuko Yasugi) for updating the database.
Renovating LIPIDBANK for Web (2006-2007)
LIPIDBANK for Web became the official database of JCBL, to which all rights were delegated from IMCJ and JST. The name of database changed to "LipidBank". The Hopanoid group was removed and the number of category is now 16. The database system and its contents were updated and reorganized by the JCBL committee members (President: Masahiro Nishijima).
If you have questions or suggestions, please contact with:
Masanori Arita
Department of Computational Biology
University of Tokyo
Members of Executive Committee of Lipid Database
President: Masahiro Nishijima
Makoto AritaMasanori AritaKentaro Hanada
Takeshi KasamaYoshihiro KitaTetsuyuki Kobayashi
Kazuo NakamuraMieko OshimaYousuke Seyama
Takao Shimizu Akemi SuzukiRyo Taguchi
Yasunobu UchijimaEtsuko YasugiKazuaki Yokoyama


1989 - 1997:
LIPID INFORMATION SERVICE was funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (http://www.jsps.go.jp/)
1996 - 2002 :
LIPIDBANK for Web was funded by the Database Development Program of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)(http://www.jst.go.jp/).
2003 - 2007 :
LIPIDBANK for Web was funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (http://www.jsps.go.jp/).

Last updated April 18, 2022. Copyright © 1989-2022 Japanese Conference on the Biochemistry of Lipids (JCBL). All rights reserved.