Glycerol accepts fatty acids from acyl‐CoAs to synthesize glycerol lipids. Glycerol phosphate comes from glycolysis—specifically from the reduction of dihydroxyacetone phosphate using NADH as a cofactor. Then the glycerol phosphate accepts two fatty acids from fatty acyl‐CoA. The fatty acyl‐CoA is formed by the expenditure of two high‐energy phosphate bonds from ATP.
Fatty acyl‐CoA is the donor of the fatty acyl group to the two nonphosphorylated positions of glycerol phosphate to make a phosphatidic acid.
The third fatty acid can be added after the removal of the phosphate of the phosphatidic acid. This scheme results in a triacylglycerol, although other phosphatidic acids can be used as precursors to various membrane lipids.