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Lipid Mediators

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Encyclopedia of Cancer


Bioactive lipids; Lipid second messengers


Lipid mediators are bioactive molecules rapidly produced upon cell activation either by enzymatic process or by oxidative fragmentation of polyunsaturated fatty acids attached to their glycerol backbone. The majority of lipid mediators are products of degradation and/or phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of glycerophospholipids by defined enzymes acting in concert and commonly designated as phospholipases (PLs), phosphokinases, and phosphatases. Hydrolysis of phospholipids also generates free fatty acids, including arachidonate, a direct precursor of eicosanoids.


Within seconds after cell activation, certain phospholipids are either selectively hydrolyzed by defined phospholipases leading to highly bioactive molecules (lipids and/or fatty acids) or phosphorylated by specific kinases to bioactive phosphoinositides Inositol lipids. Essentially three phospholipase (PL) families, namely, Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), Ph...

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© 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Ninio, E. (2011). Lipid Mediators. In: Schwab, M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Cancer. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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