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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2011 Feb;22(1):55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2010.12.001. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Does cytokine signaling link sphingolipid metabolism to host defense and immunity against virus infections?

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Departments of Surgery & Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Virology Center, University of Missouri-Columbia, One Hospital Dr., Columbia, MO 65212, USA.


Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-metabolizing enzymes regulate the level of bioactive sphingolipids that have curative potential. Recently, S1P-metabolizing enzymes such as sphingosine kinase 1 and S1P lyase were shown to regulate influenza virus replication and the virus-induced cytopathogenicity. The mechanism appeared to employ a JAK/STAT type I interferon signaling pathway that induces anti-viral status. Further, sphingosine analogs altered cytokine responses upon influenza virus infection. This article focuses on recent discoveries about the sphingolipid system that influences on host protection from viral virulence and the involvement of cytokine signaling in its underlying mechanisms. Deciphering the steps of this pathway could help us envision how the modulation of sphingolipid metabolism can be applied as a therapeutic approach to overcome infectious diseases.

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