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Sphingomyelin: Key Roles in Health and Disease

New Content ItemSphingomyelin Involvement in Cancer and Parasites Immune Evasion

Edited by Rashika El Ridi and Junfei Jin

Lipids in Health and Disease invites you to contribute a manuscript to our new thematic series, “Sphingomyelin: Key Roles in Health and Disease”.

Sphingolipids were named after the mythological sphinx because of their enigmatic nature.  Sphingolipids, like the sphinx, are composed of diverse subunits: an amino diol, sphingosine, bound to a fatty acid by an amide linkage, and a polar head group.  Perhaps the best known sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza. Similarly famous and enigmatic is sphingomyelin (SM), which contains predominantly a phosphocholine as head group. Sphingomyelin is abundant in the outer leaflet of cell plasma membranes where it with cholesterol forms lipid rafts, which serve as platforms for proteins and protein assemblies involved in signal transduction.  Additionally, SM is the most abundant sphingolipid in plasma lipoproteins.  Removal of the head group phosphocholine by sphingomyelinases generates a product with hydrogen as head group, ceramide, an apoptosis-inducing, and messenger death molecule.

Accumulation of SM and decrease in ceramide levels are implicated in tumor initiation, immune evasion, growth, and metastasis.  Additionally, reports document SM roles in atherosclerosis, Alzheimer, and diseases mediated by human immunodeficiency virus and prion invasion. Interactions of sphingolipid metabolism of numerous parasites, such as Plamodium, Trypanosoma, Toxoplasma, Schistosoma with that of the host contribute to parasite survival and/or host defense. 

We wish to welcome articles, including original research, narrative reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and mini-reviews which establish the relation between SM metabolism and cancer immune evasion, thus allowing the discovery of unprecedented approaches and new molecules for cancer prevention and therapy.  Of great interest would be articles clarifying the intricacies of SM involvement in atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer, and diseases caused by viruses and prion.  Such articles are expected to open avenues for prevention and therapy of these severe afflictions. The topics that will be particularly welcomed for submission in the issue are those addressing the identification and characterization of SM-related virulence factors and pathways of human parasites, and aiming towards development of novel therapeutic options and molecules.

All submissions should be made by June 30th, 2022.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process.

Please find out more about our journal and its policies, here. Submission guidelines can be found here, and please submit to the series via our submission system (there will be a field for which you can indicate if you are submitting to this series).

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