Impact of sphingolipids on protein membrane trafficking

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids. 2023 Aug;1868(8):159334. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2023.159334. Epub 2023 May 17.


Membrane trafficking is essential to maintain the spatiotemporal control of protein and lipid distribution within membrane systems of eukaryotic cells. To achieve their functional destination proteins are sorted and transported into lipid carriers that construct the secretory and endocytic pathways. It is an emerging theme that lipid diversity might exist in part to ensure the homeostasis of these pathways. Sphingolipids, a chemical diverse type of lipids with special physicochemical characteristics have been implicated in the selective transport of proteins. In this review, we will discuss current knowledge about how sphingolipids modulate protein trafficking through the endomembrane systems to guarantee that proteins reach their functional destination and the proposed underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: Endocytic pathway; Membrane trafficking; Protein sorting; Secretory pathway; Sphingolipids.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Membranes / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Sphingolipids* / metabolism


  • Sphingolipids