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Plant Sphingolipids: Structure, Synthesis and Function

  • Ming Chen
  • Edgar B. CahoonEmail author
  • Mariana Saucedo-García
  • Javier Plasencia
  • Marina Gavilanes-Ruíz
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 30)

Summary

Sphingolipids are major structural components of endomembranes and dynamic regulators of basic cellular processes in plants. Advances during the past decade have revealed that sphingolipids are essential molecules in plants, and many of the genes for sphingolipid biosynthetic enzymes have been identified and characterized. In addition, improved methods for sphingolipid extraction and analysis have uncovered the immense structural complexity and quantitative importance of sphingolipids in plant cells. These advanced analytical methods have also been increasingly applied to the characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants to provide unexpected insights into sphingolipid metabolism and function. Complementing these studies is a growing awareness that sphingolipids are one of the most abundant lipid components of the plasma membrane of plant cells and may play a role in the organization and function of membrane microdomains that are important for cell surface activities and for trafficking of proteins to the plasma membrane. Furthermore, sphingolipid metabolites including free and phosphorylated forms of long-chain bases and ceramides have been linked as bioactive regulators to a number of cellular processes (e.g., programmed cell death) that are important for abiotic stress resistance, plant development, and plant—pathogen interactions. This review provides a synopsis of the rapidly progressing field of plant sphingolipid biology and highlights gaps in our knowledge of the metabolism and function of these molecules in plants.

Keywords

Arabidopsis Thaliana Sphingolipid Metabolism Fatty Acid Elongation Sphingolipid Synthesis Serine Palmitoyltransferase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ABA

Abscisic acid

acd

Accelerated cell death

ACP

Acyl carrier protein

AAL

Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici

GBA

Bile acid β-glucosidase

DRM

Detergent-resistant membranes

ER

Endoplas-mic reticulum

FATB

Fatty acid thioesterase B

GlcCer

Glucosylceramide

GLTP

Glycolipid transfer protein

GIPC

Glycosyl inositolphosphoceramide

HR

Hypersensitive response

IPC

Inositolphosphoceramide

Ld

Liquid-disordered phase

Lo

Liquid-ordered phase

LCB

Long-chain base

LCB-P

Long-chain base-1-phosphate

Tm

Melting temperature

PR

Pathogenesis-related

PI

Phosphatidylinositol

RNAi

RNA interference

SPT

Serine palmitoyltransferase

d18:0

Sphinganine (dihydro sphingosine)

SPHK

Sphingosine kinase

VLCFA

Very long-chain fatty acid

t18:0

4-Hydroxysphinganine (phytosphingosine)

t18:1Δ8trans

4-Hydroxy-Δ8trans-sphingenine

t18:1Δ8cis

4-Hydroxy-Δ8cis-sphingenine

d18:1Δ4trans

Δ4trans-sphingenine (sphingosine)

d18: 1Δ8trans

Δ8trans-sphingenine

18:1Δ8cis

Δ8cis-sphin-genine

d18:2Δ4trans,8cis

Δ4trans,8cis-sphingadienine

d18:2Δ4trans,8trans

Δ4trans,8trans-sphingadienine

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Rebecca Cahoon for editing of the text. We also thank the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), México (grant 55610) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (grants DGAPA PAPIIT-IN207806 and PAIP 0690-2) for financial support to MGR, CONACYT (grant 50503Z) for financial support to JP, and the United States National Science Foundation (MCB-0312559, MCB-0843312) for financial support to EBC. MSG is supported by a fellowship from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), México.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edgar B. Cahoon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mariana Saucedo-García
    • 3
  • Javier Plasencia
    • 3
  • Marina Gavilanes-Ruíz
    • 3
  1. 1.Donald Danforth Plant Science CenterSaint LouisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Plant Science Innovation and Department of Biochemistry, E318 Beadle CenterUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  3. 3.Departmento de Bioquímica, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad UniversitariaDistrito FederalMéxico

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