The simple sphingolipids ceramide, sphingosine, ceramide 1-phosphate and sphingosine 1-phosphate, and their metabolizing enzymes are implicated in the regulation of vital cellular functions, including angiogenesis, cell differentiation, migration, and cell growth and death. These sphingolipids are also involved in the establishment and progression of many illnesses including cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's diseases, chronic inflammation, and cancer. Therefore, the development of inhibitors of the enzymes that are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of these metabolites may be essential tools for studying normal cell metabolism as well as for establishing new therapeutic strategies for treatment of disease.
Keywords: Apoptosis, cell proliferation, cell migration, inflammation, ceramides, ceramide-1-phosphate, sphingolipids, sphingosine 1-phosphate, atherosclerosis, ageing
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