Basics of Sphingolipid Metabolism and Signalling

  • Céline Colacios
  • Frédérique Sabourdy
  • Nathalie Andrieu-Abadie
  • Bruno Ségui
  • Thierry LevadeEmail author


The term sphingolipid was coined by J.L.W. Thudichum before the turn of the nineteenth century, referring to the enigmatic (related to the Sphinx myth) nature of this class of molecules. One hundred thirty years later, the enigma is not yet completely solved. Nevertheless, much progress has been made, shedding light on the numerous roles these lipids play in eukaryotes. How sphingolipids are synthesized, transformed and degraded in mammalian cells, and how some of them transduce signals and regulate biological functions is reviewed in this chapter. Special attention is given to those sphingolipid species which regulate key aspects of the development of malignancies in humans, and therefore represent potential targets for therapy.


Ceramide Sphingosine 1-phosphate Sphingomyelin Receptor Oncometabolite Membrane Glycolipid 





Ceramide 1-phosphate




Endoplasmic reticulum








Sphingosine 1-phosphate









Support to TL’s team by INSERM, Université Paul Sabatier, ANR (SphingoDR program), RITC, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer (Equipe Labellisée 2013), and VML is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Colacios
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frédérique Sabourdy
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nathalie Andrieu-Abadie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruno Ségui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thierry Levade
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) UMR1037Centre de Recherches en Cancérologie de Toulouse (CRCT), Oncopole de ToulouseToulouse, Cedex 1France
  2. 2.Equipe Labellisée Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer 2013, Centre de Recherches en Cancérologie de Toulouse (CRCT)Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Biochimie Métabolique, Institut Fédératif de BiologieCHU PurpanToulouseFrance

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