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Autophagy. 2007 Jan-Feb;3(1):45-7. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

Is autophagy the key mechanism by which the sphingolipid rheostat controls the cell fate decision?

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INSERM U504, Institut Andre Lwoff, Villejuif, France.


Sphingolipids are major constituents of biological membrane and some of them behave as second messengers involved in the cell fate decision. Ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) constitute a rheostat system in which ceramide promotes cell death and S1P increases cell survival. We have shown that both sphingolipids are able to trigger autophagy with opposing outcomes on cell survival. Here we discuss and speculate on the diverging functions of the autophagic pathways induced by ceramide and S1P, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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