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Translational aspects of sphingosine 1-phosphate biology

Pyne, Susan and Pyne, Nigel J (2011) Translational aspects of sphingosine 1-phosphate biology. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 17. pp. 463-472.

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Abstract

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid that has both physiological and pathophysiological roles. It regulates cellular processes such as proliferation, migration, survival and differentiation and affects all organ systems. S1P not only activates S1P-specific receptors to initiate cellular signalling pathways but also directly regulates specific intracellular target proteins. The therapeutic opportunities surrounding S1P signalling are numerous and exemplified by the recent approval of FTY720 (a sphingosine analogue, Gilenya™) for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis. A major focus of research is to develop small-molecule antagonists/agonists/inhibitors that are specific to the different S1P receptor subtypes and the enzymes that regulate S1P levels. This review describes fundamental aspects of S1P biology with an emphasis on the translational potential of intervention therapeutics.