Death and taxis: what non-mammalian models tell us about sphingosine-1-phosphate

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Oct;15(5):529-40. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2004.05.009.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a signaling molecule that regulates critical events including mammalian cell proliferation, survival, migration and cell-cell interactions. Most of these signals are triggered by engagement of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors of the Edg family. However, accumulating evidence derived from investigation of non-mammalian models that lack Edg receptors suggests that sphingosine-1-phosphate-like molecules can act through alternative mechanisms and thereby contribute to morphogenesis, development, reproduction and survival. This review provides an overview of sphingosine-1-phosphate metabolism, the isolation of genes in this pathway employing yeast genetics, the evidence for its influence on non-mammalian development, and the pertinence of these findings to human disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lysophospholipids / physiology*
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / physiology*
  • Zebrafish / physiology


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Sphingosine