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Sphingolipids as Signaling and Regulatory Molecules

Overview of attention for book
Cover of 'Sphingolipids as Signaling and Regulatory Molecules'

Table of Contents

  1. Altmetric Badge
    Book Overview
  2. Altmetric Badge
    Chapter 1 An overview of sphingolipid metabolism: from synthesis to breakdown
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    Chapter 2 Sphingolipid Transport
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    Chapter 3 Sphingolipid Analysis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS)
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    Chapter 4 Ceramide synthases: roles in cell physiology and signaling.
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    Chapter 5 Tales and mysteries of the enigmatic sphingomyelin synthase family.
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    Chapter 6 Ceramide in Stress Response
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    Chapter 7 Animal models for studying the pathophysiology of ceramide.
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    Chapter 8 Ceramide-1-Phosphate in Cell Survival and Inflammatory Signaling
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    Chapter 9 Ceramide-1-Phosphate in Phagocytosis and Calcium Homeostasis
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    Chapter 10 Extracellular and intracellular actions of sphingosine-1-phosphate.
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    Chapter 11 Glucosylceramide in Humans
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    Chapter 12 Gangliosides as Regulators of Cell Membrane Organization and Functions
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    Chapter 13 Cancer treatment strategies targeting sphingolipid metabolism.
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    Chapter 14 Therapeutic Strategies for Diabetes and Complications: A Role for Sphingolipids?
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    Chapter 15 Roles for Sphingolipids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
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    Chapter 16 Sphingolipid signaling in fungal pathogens.
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    Chapter 17 Sphingolipids in Parasitic Protozoa
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    Chapter 18 Biosynthesis of Sphingolipids in Plants (and Some of Their Functions)
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    Chapter 19 Computational analysis of sphingolipid pathway systems.
Attention for Chapter 1: An overview of sphingolipid metabolism: from synthesis to breakdown
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (92nd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
1 Facebook page
4 Wikipedia pages


37 Dimensions

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615 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Chapter title
An overview of sphingolipid metabolism: from synthesis to breakdown
Chapter number 1
Book title
Sphingolipids as Signaling and Regulatory Molecules
Published in
Advances in experimental medicine and biology, February 2015
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-6741-1_1
Pubmed ID
Book ISBNs
978-1-4419-6740-4, 978-1-4419-6741-1

CR Gault, LM Obeid, YA Hannun, Gault CR, Obeid LM, Hannun YA, Christopher R. Gault, Lina M. Obeid, Yusuf A. Hannun


Sphingolipids constitute a class of lipids defined by their eighteen carbon amino-alcohol backbones which are synthesized in the ER from nonsphingolipid precursors. Modification of this basic structure is what gives rise to the vast family of sphingolipids that play significant roles in membrane biology and provide many bioactive metabolites that regulate cell function. Despite the diversity of structure and function of sphingolipids, their creation and destruction are governed by common synthetic and catabolic pathways. In this regard, sphingolipid metabolism can be imagined as an array of interconnected networks that diverge from a single common entry point and converge into a single common breakdown pathway. In their simplest forms, sphingosine, phytosphingosine and dihydrosphingosine serve as the backbones upon which further complexity is achieved. For example, phosphorylation of the C1 hydroxyl group yields the final breakdown products and/or the important signaling molecules sphingosine-1-phosphate, phytosphingosine-1-phosphate and dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate, respectively. On the other hand, acylation of sphingosine, phytosphingosine, or dihydrosphingosine with one of several possible acyl CoA molecules through the action of distinct ceramide synthases produces the molecules defined as ceramide, phytoceramide, or dihydroceramide. Ceramide, due to the differing acyl CoAs that can be used to produce it, is technically a class of molecules rather than a single molecule and therefore may have different biological functions depending on the acyl chain it is composed of. At the apex of complexity is the group of lipids known as glycosphingolipids (GSL) which contain dozens of different sphingolipid species differing by both the order and type of sugar residues attached to their headgroups. Since these molecules are produced from ceramide precursors, they too may have differences in their acyl chain composition, revealing an additional layer of variation. The glycosphingolipids are divided broadly into two categories: glucosphingolipids and galactosphingolipids. The glucosphingolipids depend initially on the enzyme glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) which attaches glucose as the first residue to the C1 hydroxyl position. Galactosphingolipids, on the other hand, are generated from galactosylceramide synthase (GalCerS), an evolutionarily dissimilar enzyme from GCS. Glycosphingolipids are further divided based upon further modification by various glycosyltransferases which increases the potential variation in lipid species by several fold. Far more abundant are the sphingomyelin species which are produced in parallel with glycosphingolipids, however they are defined by a phosphocholine headgroup rather than the addition of sugar residues. Although sphingomyelin species all share a common headgroup, they too are produced from a variety of ceramide species and therefore can have differing acyl chains attached to their C-2 amino groups. Whether or not the differing acyl chain lengths in SMs dictate unique functions or important biophysical distinctions has not yet been established. Understanding the function of all the existing glycosphingolipids and sphingomyelin species will be a major undertaking in the future since the tools to study and measure these species are only beginning to be developed (see Fig 1 for an illustrated depiction of the various sphingolipid structures). The simple sphingolipids serve both as the precursors and the breakdown products of the more complex ones. Importantly, in recent decades, these simple sphingolipids have gained attention for having significant signaling and regulatory roles within cells. In addition, many tools have emerged to measure the levels of simple sphingolipids and therefore have become the focus of even more intense study in recent years. With this thought in mind, this chapter will pay tribute to the complex sphingolipids, but focus on the regulation of simple sphingolipid metabolism.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 615 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 4 <1%
United Kingdom 3 <1%
Finland 2 <1%
United States 2 <1%
Argentina 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Russia 1 <1%
Sweden 1 <1%
Unknown 600 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 168 27%
Student > Master 95 15%
Student > Bachelor 87 14%
Researcher 77 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 34 6%
Other 76 12%
Unknown 78 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 169 27%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 162 26%
Chemistry 48 8%
Medicine and Dentistry 43 7%
Neuroscience 23 4%
Other 79 13%
Unknown 91 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 October 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,356,510 outputs
Outputs from Advances in experimental medicine and biology
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Advances in experimental medicine and biology
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Altmetric has tracked 17,356,510 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 87th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,915 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 295,181 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 282 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.