Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Future Lipidol. 2008 Jun;3(3):273-300.

Ceramide signaling in cancer and stem cells.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, School of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, 1120 15th Street, Room CB-2803, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


Most of the previous work on the sphingolipid ceramide has been devoted to its function as an apoptosis inducer. Recent studies, however, have shown that in stem cells, ceramide has additional nonapoptotic functions. In this article, ceramide signaling will be reviewed in light of 'systems interface biology': as an interconnection of sphingolipid metabolism, membrane biophysics and cell signaling. The focus will be on the metabolic interconversion of ceramide and sphingomyelin or sphingosine-1-phosphate. Lipid rafts and sphingolipid-induced protein scaffolds will be discussed as a membrane interface for lipid-controlled cell signaling. Ceramide/sphingomyelin and ceramide/sphingosine-1-phosphate-interdependent cell-signaling pathways are significant for the regulation of cell polarity, apoptosis and/or proliferation, and as novel pharmacologic targets in cancer and stem cells.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk