Functions and metabolism of sphingolipids in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Robert C. Dickson, Chiranthani Sumanasekera, Robert L. Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

232 Scopus citations


We describe recent advances in understanding sphingolipid functions and metabolism in the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. One milestone has been reached in yeast sphingolipid research with the complete or nearly complete identification of genes involved in sphingolipid synthesis and breakdown. Other advances include roles for sphingolipid long-chain bases as signaling molecules that regulate growth, responses to heat stress, cell wall synthesis and repair, endocytosis and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton. We touch briefly on other sphingolipid functions so that readers unfamiliar with the field will gain a broader view of sphingolipid research. These functions include roles in protein trafficking/exocytosis, lipid rafts or microdomains, calcium homeostasis, longevity and cellular aging, nutrient uptake, cross-talk with other lipids and the interaction of sphingolipids and antifungal drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-465
Number of pages19
JournalProgress in Lipid Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work in the author’s laboratory was supported by research grants to RCD from the National Institutes of Health (GM41302 and AG024377). This publication was also made possible by Grant P20-RR020171 from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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