Lipid Signaling

Bioactive lipids, generated during the remodeling of membrane lipids by activated lipases, serve as intra- and extracellular mediators in cell signaling. They play important roles in a variety of processes involving cell-cell communication, inflammation, host-defense mechanisms, and ischemia-reperfusion. Lipid mediators such as eicosanoids exhibit cell type specificity; however, others such as diacylglycerol (DAG) and ceramide are ubiquitous in their distribution. Ceramide shows a high degree of specificity when compared to some of the other closely-related lipids. Abnormal accumulation and localization of lipids affect cellular functions by perturbing membrane activity, altering the production of bioactive lipids, and lipid signaling.