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World J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 26;1(11):321-6. doi: 10.4331/wjbc.v1.i11.321.

Role of sphingosine kinase and sphingosine-1-phosphate in inflammatory arthritis.

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Wen-Qi Lai, Alirio J Melendez, Bernard P Leung, Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore.


The importance of sphingosine kinase (SphK) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in inflammation has been extensively demonstrated. As an intracellular second messenger, S1P plays an important role in calcium signaling and mobilization, and cell proliferation and survival. Activation of various plasma membrane receptors, such as the formyl methionyl leucyl phenylalanine receptor, C5a receptor, and tumor necrosis factor α receptor, leads to a rapid increase in intracellular S1P level via SphK stimulation. SphK and S1P are implicated in various chronic autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, primary Sjögren's syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. Recent studies have demonstrated the important role of SphK and S1P in the development of arthritis by regulating the pro-inflammatory responses. These novel pathways represent exciting potential therapeutic targets.


Cytokines; Inflammation; Rheumatoid arthritis; Sphingosine kinase; Sphingosine-1-phosphate

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