- Synthetic diacylglycerol lactones (DAG-lactones) have been shown to be effective modulators of critical cellular signaling pathways. The biological activity of these amphiphilic molecules depends in part upon their lipid interactions within the cellular plasma membrane. This study explores the thermodynamic and structural features of DAG-lactone derivatives and their lipid interactions at the air/water interface. Surface-pressure/area isotherms and Brewster angle microscopy revealed the significance of specific side-groups attached to the terminus of a very rigid 4-(2-phenylethynyl)benzoyl chain of the DAG-lactones, which affected both the self-assembly of the molecules and their interactions with phospholipids. The experimental data highlight the formation of different phases within mixed DAG-lactone/phospholipid monolayers and underscore the relationship between the two components in binary mixtures of different mole ratios. Importantly, the results suggest that DAG-lactones are predominantly incorporated within fluid phospholipid phases rather than in the condensed phases that form, for example, by cholesterol. Moreover, the size and charge of the phospholipid headgroups do not seem to affect DAG-lactone interactions with lipids.