Lipidomics Shared Resource (LSR) at MUSC represents the only scientific shared resource of its kind; providing service to the Medical University of South Carolina, medical institutions throughout the world in addition to pharmaceutical companies. LSR is composed of synthetic and analytical units providing expertise, mentoring, synthetic molecular tools and analytical methodology to study significance of bioactive sphingolipids.
The Lipidomics Shared Resource builds on unique expertise at MUSC in sphingolipid biology, chemistry and analysis and their role in signal transduction and cell regulation. This expertise supports the facility's pivotal role in MUSC's COBRE in Lipidomics and Pathobiology.
Sphingolipid metabolism assumes a key role in the complex mechanisms regulating cellular stress responses to environmental changes. Sphingolipids are recognized as a key components regulating fundamental cell biology processes acting as modulators for transmembrane signaling and mediators for cellular interaction. Diversity of bioactive sphingolipids and their interconnected metabolism provide a network of pathways regulating intra- and inter-cellular signaling and function. Key sphingolipid metabolites: ceramides (Cer), sphingosine (Sph) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), act as bioactive molecules that mediate and/or regulate various cell responses including cell growth, cell death, inflammation, cell migration, and cell senescence. Dysfunctions in the metabolism of these sphingolipids contribute to pathology of diseases. To understand how sphingolipids biosynthesis and turnover regulate cell behavior, it is essential to determine the levels of these bioactive molecules in order to examine their effects on cell function.
This emphasizes the needs to analyze sphingolipid components, examine sphingolipid chemistry and regulation of sphingolipid metabolic pathways. Monitoring changes in sphingolipid composition under normal and disease environments may provide one of the missing links in the search for a novel and effective therapy.
Karen H. Fulghum