DISCOVER Bioactive Small Molecules for Lipid Signaling Research

Within mammalian cells, a multitude of lipid compounds are found with a variety of cellular functions, including structural components of cell membranes and as second messengers in cell signaling pathways. Through the arachadonic acid (AA) pathway arachadonic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid, is released from membrane phospholipids by phospholipase A2 and converted to lipid second messengers such as gives rise to many lipid second messengers such as prostaglandins (PG), leukotrienes (LT) and lipoxins (LP). These lipids act in signaling pathways including inflammation, vasoconstriction, and bronchoconstriction. Other important second messengers are inositol phosphates, which can be involved in signaling of cytoskeletal proteins through stimulation of calcium ion release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and sphingolipids, which play important roles in signal transmission and cell recognition.

Structural components of cell membranes such as cholesterol and gangliosides also have important cellular functions. Cholesterol supports intracellular transport, cell signaling, and nerve conduction, as well as being converted to bile acids, which are essential for digestion and absorption of dietary fats. Gangliosides are glycolipids that are the major constituent of neuronal cell membranes. They provide protection from harsh conditions, help cells interact with extracellular matrices and other cells, and can alter cellular membrane binding capacity for bacterial toxins, growth factors, and hormones.

The structural and cellular functions of lipids have been shown to be essential. Deregulation and dysfunction of lipid signaling has been shown to be involved in various disease states, making lipids and related enzymes vital targets in research of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. Sigma® Life Science understands that it is essential to ensure that your target is the right target when researching lipid signaling in diseases. Sigma offers several inhibitors, agonists and antagonists for target identification and validation in research of lipid second messengers and lipid metabolism; a selection of these research tools is shown below.

 

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