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Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1568-0266
ISSN (Online): 1873-4294

Review Article

Acid Ceramidase: A Novel Therapeutic Target in Cancer

Author(s): Yadu Vijayan, Manendra Babu Lankadasari and Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar*

Volume 19, Issue 17, 2019

Page: [1512 - 1520] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1568026619666190227222930

Price: $65


Sphingolipids are important constituents of the eukaryotic cell membrane which govern various signaling pathways related to different aspects of cell survival. Ceramide and Sphingosine are interconvertible sphingolipid metabolites, out of which Ceramide is pro-apoptotic and sphingosine is anti-apoptotic in nature. The conversion of ceramide to sphingosine is mediated by Acid Ceramidase (ASAH1) thus maintaining a rheostat between a tumor suppressor and a tumor promoter. This rheostat is completely altered in many tumors leading to uncontrolled proliferation. This intriguing property of ASAH1 can be used by cancer cells to their advantage, by increasing the expression of the tumor promoter, sphingosine inside cells, thus creating a favorable environment for cancer growth. The different possibilities through which this enzyme serves its role in formation, progression and resistance of different types of cancers will lead to the possibility of making Acid Ceramidase a promising drug target. This review discusses the current understanding of the role of acid ceramidase in cancer progression, metastasis and resistance, strategies to develop novel natural and synthetic inhibitors of ASAH1 and their usefulness in cancer therapy.

Keywords: Acid ceramidase, Sphingosine, Cancer, Metastasis, Chemotherapy, Radiation.

Graphical Abstract
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