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.
- acyl chain length
- endoplasmic reticulum stress