The major sphingolipid metabolite, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), has important biological functions. S1P is the ligand for a family of five G-protein-coupled receptors with distinct signaling pathways that regulate angiogenesis, vascular maturation, immunity, chemotaxis, and other important biological pathways. Recently, clinical trials have targeted S1P receptors (S1PRs) for autoimmune diseases and transplantation and have generated considerable interest in developing additional, more selective compounds. This review summarizes current knowledge on the biology of S1P and S1PRs that forms the basis for future drug development and the treatment of kidney disease.
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