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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Sep;1831(9):1475-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

New insights on glucosylated lipids: metabolism and functions.

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Laboratory for Molecular Membrane Neuroscience, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako, Saitama, Japan.


Ceramide, cholesterol, and phosphatidic acid are major basic structures for cell membrane lipids. These lipids are modified with glucose to generate glucosylceramide (GlcCer), cholesterylglucoside (ChlGlc), and phosphatidylglucoside (PtdGlc), respectively. Glucosylation dramatically changes the functional properties of lipids. For instance, ceramide acts as a strong tumor suppressor that causes apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, while GlcCer has an opposite effect, downregulating ceramide activities. All glucosylated lipids are enriched in lipid rafts or microdomains and play fundamental roles in a variety of cellular processes. In this review, we discuss the biological functions and metabolism of these three glucosylated lipids.


ABCA12; AMP-activated protein kinase; AMPK; ATP-binding cassette transporter A12; BMP; CBE; CERT; COPII; CerS; ChlGlc; Cholesterylglucoside; DIM; ER; GBA; GCase; GPI; GSL; GTF; GalCer; GlcCer; Glucosylation; Glucosylceramide; Glycolipid; HSP; LDs; LPS; MS; PH; PKD; Phosphatidylglucoside; PtdAc; PtdCho; PtdEth; PtdGlc; PtdIns; PtdIns(4)P; Raphanus sativus antifungal peptide; RsAFP; SAP-C; SMS; SPT; START; Sphingolipid; UDP-glucose; UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase; UGCG; VAP; acid β-glucosidase; bis-monoacylglycero-phosphate; ceramide synthase; ceramide transport protein; cholesterylglucoside; coat protein complex II; conduritol B epoxide; detergent-insoluble membrane; endoplasmic reticulum; galactosylceramide; glucocerebrosidase; glucosylceramide; glycosphingolipid; glycosylphosphatidylinositol; glycosyltransferase family; heat shock protein; iNKT cells; invariant natural killer T cells; lipid droplets; lipopolysaccharide; mass spectrometry; phophatidylinositol-4-phosphate; phosphatidic acid; phosphatidylcholine; phosphatidylethanolamine; phosphatidylglucoside; phosphatidylinositol; pleckstrin homology; polycystic kidney disease; saposin C; serine palmitoyl transferase; sphingomyelin synthase; steroidogenic acute regulatory protein-related lipid transfer; uridine diphosphate glucose; vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein; α-GalCer; α-galactosylceramide

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