Ceramide and Apoptosis: Exploring the Enigmatic Connections between Sphingolipid Metabolism and Programmed Cell Death

ISSN: 1875-5992 (Online)
ISSN: 1871-5206 (Print)


Volume 16, 12 Issues, 2016


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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Formerly: Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents

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Editor-in-Chief:
Michelle Prudhomme
Universite Blaise Pascal - C.N.R.S
Aubiere Cedex
France


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Ceramide and Apoptosis: Exploring the Enigmatic Connections between Sphingolipid Metabolism and Programmed Cell Death



Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 12(4): 340-363.

Author(s): Thomas D. Mullen and Lina M Obeid.

Affiliation: 114 Doughty Street, Room 603 S.T.R.B, MSC 779, Charleston, SC 29425.

Abstract

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is a complex process whereby eukaryotic cells react to physiologic or pathophysiologic stimuli by undergoing genetically programmed suicide. Programmed cell death involves many well-characterized signaling pathways including permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and activation of caspases. Other pathways, such as pro-apoptotic lipid signaling, are less understood despite many years of study. The sphingolipid ceramide has received considerable attention as a key regulator of programmed cell death, yet the mechanisms of its up-regulation and ability to control cell fate remain ill-defined. In this review, we will examine the connections between sphingolipid metabolism and programmed cell death with a focus on the role of de novo sphingolipid synthesis and sphingosine salvage in producing pro-apoptotic ceramide. We will also highlight the evidence supporting an increasingly complex role for ceramide in regulating apoptosis and provide a framework in which to ask new questions about the functions of this enigmatic lipid.

Keywords:

Ceramide synthase, Ceramide, Apoptosis, De novo sphingolipid synthesis, Programmed cell death, Salvage pathway, Serine palmitoyl transferase, Sphingomyelinase, (karyorrhexis, autophagosomes .



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Article Details

Volume: 12
Issue Number: 4
First Page: 340
Last Page: 363
Page Count: 24
DOI: 10.2174/187152012800228661
Price: $58
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