Sphingoproteomics: Proteomic Strategies to Examine Sphingolipid Biology

  • Bruce A. Stanley
  • Tye Deering
  • Todd E. FoxEmail author


Interest in sphingolipids has increased in the past couple of decades as the number of biological activities identified has greatly expanded. These include roles in inflammation, proliferation, survival, and metastasis. Sphingolipids can exert these effects through an increasing number of identified interacting cellular targets. To facilitate the understanding of the intrinsic biology of sphingolipids and the development of sphingolipid-based therapeutics, further knowledge is needed. Various analytical protocols assist this endeavor, with mass spectrometry-based techniques seeing increasing usage, especially for measuring steady-state lipid levels. The area of mass spectrometry-based proteomics is also seeing increased usage in the study of lipid biology. This chapter provides an introduction to hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-testing protein-based analytical approaches to investigate sphingolipids and sphingolipid-metabolizing enzymes. These tools can serve to identify how sphingolipids regulate the proteome, to define how post-translational modifications control enzymatic activity, to identify protein–protein and protein–lipid interactions as well as to facilitate inhibitor development, among other concepts. These approaches can help delineate the roles and consequences of perturbations of sphingolipid metabolism in cancer.


Sphingolipids Ceramide Sphingosine kinase Proteomics Mass spectrometry Interactions Post-translational modifications 



This work was supported by the American Cancer Society and P01 CA171983. The authors would like to thank Kevin Fox for the creation of Fig. 1.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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