Sphingolipids in Disease pp 171-197

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 216)

Cross Talk Between Ceramide and Redox Signaling: Implications for Endothelial Dysfunction and Renal Disease



Recent studies have demonstrated that cross talk between ceramide and redox signaling modulates various cell activities and functions and contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases and renal dysfunctions. Ceramide triggers the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increases oxidative stress in many mammalian cells and animal models. On the other hand, inhibition of ROS-generating enzymes or treatment of antioxidants impairs sphingomyelinase activation and ceramide production. As a mechanism, ceramide-enriched signaling platforms, special cell membrane rafts (MR) (formerly lipid rafts), provide an important microenvironment to mediate the cross talk of ceramide and redox signaling to exert a corresponding regulatory role on cell and organ functions. In this regard, activation of acid sphingomyelinase and generation of ceramide mediate the formation of ceramide-enriched membrane platforms, where transmembrane signals are transmitted or amplified through recruitment, clustering, assembling, or integration of various signaling molecules. A typical such signaling platform is MR redox signaling platform that is centered on ceramide production and aggregation leading to recruitment and assembling of NADPH oxidase to form an active complex in the cell plasma membrane. This redox signaling platform not only conducts redox signaling or regulation but also facilitates a feedforward amplification of both ceramide and redox signaling. In addition to this membrane MR redox signaling platform, the cross talk between ceramide and redox signaling may occur in other cell compartments. This book chapter focuses on the molecular mechanisms, spatial–temporal regulations, and implications of this cross talk between ceramide and redox signaling, which may provide novel insights into the understanding of both ceramide and redox signaling pathways.


Sphingolipid Membrane rafts Free radicals Signalosomes Redoxosome Caveolae Acid sphingomyelinase Lysosome Methyl-β-cyclodextrin 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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