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Sphingolipids as differential regulators of cellular signalling processes

Pyne, S and Tolan, D G and Conway, A M and Pyne, N (1997) Sphingolipids as differential regulators of cellular signalling processes. Biochemical Society Transactions, 25 (2). pp. 549-556. ISSN 0300-5127

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Sphingomyelin is a phospholipid that is preferentially located in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane of mammalian cells. It can be hydrolysed by three distinct isoforms of a phospholipase C (PLC)-like enzyme, sphingomyelinase, which are distinguished by their pH optima and Mg2+-dependence. Activation of sphingomyelinase occurs in response to stimulation of a number of distinct cell-surface receptors by a variety of biological agonists, such as cytokines and growth factors [l]. Several metabolites of sphingomyelin have been identified as potential second-messenger molecules.