Sphingosine kinase (SphK) is an oncogenic lipid kinase that regulates the sphingolipid metabolic pathway that has been shown to play a role in numerous hyperproliferative/inflammatory diseases. The SphK isoforms (SphK1 and SphK2) catalyze the conversion of the proapoptotic substrate d-erythrosphingosine to the promitogenic/migratory product sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). Accumulation of S1P has been linked to the development/progression of cancer and various other diseases including, but not limited to, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic nephropathy. SphK therefore represents a potential new target for developing novel therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. This finding has stimulated the development and evaluation of numerous SphK inhibitors over the past decade or so. In this review, we highlight the recent advancement in the field of SphK inhibitors including SphK1 and SphK2 specific inhibitors. Both sphingolipid based and nolipidic small molecule inhibitors and their importance in treatment of cancer and other diseases are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Drug Discovery