Sphingolipid functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Robert C. Dickson, Robert L. Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Recent advances in understanding sphingolipid metabolism and function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have moved the field from an embryonic, descriptive phase to one more focused on molecular mechanisms. One advance that has aided many experiments has been the uncovering of genes for the biosynthesis and breakdown of sphingolipids. S. cerevisiae seems on the verge of becoming the first organism in which all sphingolipid metabolic genes are identified. Other advances include the demonstration that S. cerevisiae cells have lipid rafts composed of sphingolipids and ergosterol and that specific proteins associate with rafts. Roles for phytosphingosine (PHS) and dihydrosphingosine (DHS) in heat stress continue to be uncovered including regulation of the transient cell cycle arrest, control of putative signaling pathways that govern cell integrity, endocytosis, movement of the cortical actin cytoskeleton and regulation of protein breakdown in the plasma membrane. Other studies suggest roles for sphingolipids in exocytosis, growth regulation and longevity. Finally, some progress has been made in understanding how sphingolipid synthesis is regulated and how sphingolipid levels are maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 13 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grants GM43102 and GM58507 from the US Public Health Service have supported our research program.


  • Heat shock
  • Lipid raft
  • Long-chain base
  • Protein kinase
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sphingolipid functions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this