Sphingosine Kinase: Biochemical and Cellular Regulation and Role in Disease

  • Taha, Tarek Assad (Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina) ;
  • Hannun, Yusuf Awni (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina) ;
  • Obeid, Lina Marie (Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina)
  • Received : 2006.01.24
  • Published : 2006.03.31


Sphingolipids have emerged as molecules whose metabolism is regulated leading to generation of bioactive products including ceramide, sphingosine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate. The balance between cellular levels of these bioactive products is increasingly recognized to be critical to cell regulation; whereby, ceramide and sphingosine cause apoptosis and growth arrest phenotypes, and sphingosine-1-phosphate mediates proliferative and angiogenic responses. Sphingosine kinase is a key enzyme in modulating the levels of these lipids and is emerging as an important and regulated enzyme. This review is geared at mechanisms of regulation of sphingosine kinase and the coming to light of its role in disease.


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