Sphingosine kinases: a novel family of lipid kinases

Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol. 2002;71:493-511. doi: 10.1016/s0079-6603(02)71049-0.


Sphingosine kinase (SPHK) catalyzes the formation of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S11). S1P plays an important role in regulation of a variety of biological processes through intracellular and extracellular actions. S1P has recently been shown to be the ligand for the EDG-1 family of G-protein-coupled receptors. To date, seven cloned SPHKs have been reported with confirmed SPHK activity, including human, mouse, yeast, and plant. A computer search of various databases suggests that a new SPHK family is emerging. The cloning and manipulation of SPHK genes will no doubt provide us with important information about the functions of S1P in a wide range of organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Humans
  • Lysophospholipids*
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / chemistry
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / metabolism


  • Lysophospholipids
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • sphingosine kinase
  • Sphingosine