Regulation of lactosylceramide synthase (glucosylceramide β1→4 galactosyltransferase); Implication as a drug target

Subroto Chatterjee, Antonina Kolmakova, Mohanraj Rajesh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Lactosylceramide is a ubiquitously present glycosphingolipid in mammalian tissues and has been implicated in cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and angiogenesis. This glycosphingolipid is synthesized by Golgi-localized enzyme LacCer synthase. According to recent nomenclature and gene mapping studies, two LacCer synthases β1,4GalT-V and β1,4GalT-VI have been identified and characterized. In addition, β1,4GalT-V has been implicated in the synthesis of N-glycans of cell surface glycoproteins. During the past two decades data have accumulated suggesting that the cellular level of LacCer can be regulated by various growth factors, cytokines, lipids, lipoproteins and hemodynamic factors, such as fluid shear stress, by altering the activity of LacCer synthase. An interesting feature is that a nuclear regulating factor (SP1) plays a critical role in transcriptional regulation of this enzyme in cancer cells. Moreover, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, NF-κB has been also shown to regulate this enzyme which, in turn, regulates the gene/protein expression of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule, intercellular cell adhesion molecule and angiogenesis. Since new blood supply via formation of capillaries is critical in tumor growth, metastasis, and atherogenesis, these findings expand the role of enzyme in these pathologies. Additional studies are warranted to understand the molecular and biochemical basis of how LacCer synthases are regulated. These studies will facilitate advances in discovery of drugs which mitigate diseases, such as atherosclerosis and cancer due to an aberrant regulation of these LacCer synthases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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