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S1pping fire: Sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling as an emerging target in inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated cancer

Authors Degagné E, Saba J

Received 31 January 2014

Accepted for publication 11 April 2014

Published 30 June 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 205—214


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Emilie Degagné, Julie D Saba

Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA, USA

Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex disease that involves unpredictable and destructive inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract resulting in gastrointestinal symptoms, infection, and tissue destruction, and which can be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. The underlying cause of IBD involves disruption of the innate and adaptive immune mechanisms that maintain homeostasis between the gut mucosa and its environment. Elucidating how the homeostatic mechanisms controlling gut mucosal immunity and inflammation are disrupted in IBD represents the first steps to identifying novel therapeutic targets. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid that is enriched in the blood and lymph, and functions in innate and adaptive immunity. S1P signaling regulates inflammation via its impact on the trafficking, differentiation, and effector functions of bone marrow-derived immune cells. S1P also activates nuclear factor kappa B and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 inflammatory pathways. S1P is generated by the ubiquitously expressed lipid kinase, sphingosine kinase (SphK)1 and its tissue-restricted homolog, SphK2. S1P is irreversibly degraded by S1P lyase, which is highly expressed in enterocytes. Recent studies targeting S1P metabolism and signaling have shown promise in preclinical models of IBD and have shed light on the mechanisms by which S1P signaling impacts IBD. The evidence suggests that targeting S1P signaling and metabolism may represent a novel strategy in treating IBD and it may reduce colon cancer risk by interrupting the progression from inflammation to carcinogenesis.

sphingolipids, sphingadienes, sphingosine phosphate lyase, sphingosine kinase, STAT3, S1PR

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