Functions of sphingolipids and sphingolipid breakdown products in cellular regulation

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Science  27 Jan 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4890, pp. 500-507
DOI: 10.1126/science.2643164


The discovery that breakdown products of cellular sphingolipids are biologically active has generated interest in the role of these molecules in cell physiology and pathology. Sphingolipid breakdown products, sphingosine and lysosphingolipids, inhibit protein kinase C, a pivotal enzyme in cell regulation and signal transduction. Sphingolipids and lysosphingolipids affect significant cellular responses and exhibit antitumor promoter activities in various mammalian cells. These molecules may function as endogenous modulators of cell function and possibly as second messengers.

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