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Lipids. 2000 Sep;35(9):937-45.

Current methods for the identification and quantitation of ceramides: an overview.

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  • 1The University of Rhode Island, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, West Kingston 02892, USA.


Ceramides are key compounds in the metabolism of sphingolipids and are emerging as important second messengers for various cellular processes including cell cycle arrest, differentiation, senescence, apoptosis, and others. Because of their important biological functions, exact analysis of their molecular species and concentrations is crucial for elucidating their function and metabolism. Toward this goal, several methods have been developed for the identification and quantitation of cellular ceramide levels. Methods have been developed utilizing thin-layer or high-performance liquid chromatography. Mass spectrometry also has become increasingly utilized. The Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase assay is one of the most frequently used techniques for ceramide quantitation. This review presents a current summary of methods used for the identification and quantitation of ceramides.

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