The role of sphingolipids in endoplasmic reticulum stress

Woo Jae Park, Joo Won Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an important intracellular compartment in eukaryotic cells and has diverse functions, including protein synthesis, protein folding, lipid metabolism and calcium homeostasis. ER functions are disrupted by various intracellular and extracellular stimuli that cause ER stress, including the inhibition of glycosylation, disulphide bond reduction, ER calcium store depletion, impaired protein transport to the Golgi, excessive ER protein synthesis, impairment of ER-associated protein degradation and mutated ER protein expression. Distinct ER stress signalling pathways, which are known as the unfolded protein response, are deployed to maintain ER homeostasis, and a failure to reverse ER stress triggers cell death. Sphingolipids are lipids that are structurally characterized by long-chain bases, including sphingosine or dihydrosphingosine (also known as sphinganine). Sphingolipids are bioactive molecules long known to regulate various cellular processes, including cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and cell–cell interaction. Recent studies have uncovered that specific sphingolipids are involved in ER stress. This review summarizes the roles of sphingolipids in ER stress and human diseases in the context of pathogenic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3632-3651
Number of pages20
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Woo‐Jae Park was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea grants funded by the Korean Government (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) [NRF‐2016R1D1A1B04930619], and Joo‐Won Park was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea [NRF‐2019R1F1A1057934].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Federation of European Biochemical Societies


  • acyl chain length
  • ceramide
  • disease
  • endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • sphingolipid


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