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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 3.022

CiteScore 2017: 2.81

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.705

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Volume 396, Issue 6-7


Sphingolipids in viral infection

Jürgen Schneider-Schaulies
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 7, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies
  • Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 7, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-01-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2014-0273


Viruses exploit membranes and their components such as sphingolipids in all steps of their life cycle including attachment and membrane fusion, intracellular transport, replication, protein sorting and budding. Examples for sphingolipid-dependent virus entry are found for: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which besides its protein receptors also interacts with glycosphingolipids (GSLs); rhinovirus, which promotes the formation of ceramide-enriched platforms and endocytosis; or measles virus (MV), which induces the surface expression of its own receptor CD150 via activation of sphingomyelinases (SMases). While SMase activation was implicated in Ebola virus (EBOV) attachment, the virus utilizes the cholesterol transporter Niemann-Pick C protein 1 (NPC1) as ‘intracellular’ entry receptor after uptake into endosomes. Differential activities of SMases also affect the intracellular milieu required for virus replication. Sindbis virus (SINV), for example, replicates better in cells lacking acid SMase (ASMase). Defined lipid compositions of viral assembly and budding sites influence virus release and infectivity, as found for hepatitis C virus (HCV) or HIV. And finally, viruses manipulate cellular signaling and the sphingolipid metabolism to their advantage, as for example influenza A virus (IAV), which activates sphingosine kinase 1 and the transcription factor NF-κB.

Keywords: ceramide; sphingolipids; sphingomyelinase; sphingosine kinase; viruses


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About the article

Corresponding author: Jürgen Schneider-Schaulies, Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 7, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany, e-mail:

Received: 2014-11-17

Accepted: 2014-12-12

Published Online: 2015-01-20

Published in Print: 2015-06-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 396, Issue 6-7, Pages 585–595, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2014-0273.

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Miguel A. Martín-Acebes, Enrique Gabandé-Rodríguez, Ana M. García-Cabrero, Marina P. Sánchez, María Dolores Ledesma, Francisco Sobrino, and Juan-Carlos Saiz
Journal of Lipid Research, 2016, Volume 57, Number 3, Page 422
Timothy Rohrbach, Michael Maceyka, and Sarah Spiegel
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2017, Page 1
Cristiano Salata, Arianna Calistri, Cristina Parolin, Aldo Baritussio, and Giorgio Palù
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 2017, Volume 15, Number 5, Page 483
Wen-Juan Jiao, Fei-Qiang Li, Yue-Liang Bai, Xiao-Xiao Shi, Mu-Fei Zhu, Min-Jing Zhang, Cun-Gui Mao, and Zeng-Rong Zhu
Journal of Insect Science, 2017, Volume 17, Number 1, Page 16
Andrew J. Chetwynd, Amanda Samarawickrama, Jaime H. Vera, Stephen A. Bremner, Alaa Abdul-Sada, Yvonne Gilleece, Stephen G. Holt, and Elizabeth M. Hill
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2017, Volume 74, Number 2, Page e45
Makoto Taniguchi, Takafumi Tasaki, Hideaki Ninomiya, Yoshibumi Ueda, Koh-ichi Kuremoto, Susumu Mitsutake, Yasuyuki Igarashi, Toshiro Okazaki, and Tsutomu Takegami
Scientific Reports, 2016, Volume 6, Number 1
Miguel A. Martín-Acebes, Ángela Vázquez-Calvo, and Juan-Carlos Saiz
Progress in Lipid Research, 2016, Volume 64, Page 123
Robert K. Naviaux, Jane C. Naviaux, Kefeng Li, A. Taylor Bright, William A. Alaynick, Lin Wang, Asha Baxter, Neil Nathan, Wayne Anderson, and Eric Gordon
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, Volume 113, Number 37, Page E5472
Daniel Sepúlveda-Crespo, Rafael Ceña-Díez, José Luis Jiménez, and Ma Ángeles Muñoz-Fernández
Medicinal Research Reviews, 2017, Volume 37, Number 1, Page 149
Irene Crespo, Beatriz San-Miguel, Diana I. Sánchez, Bárbara González-Fernández, Marcelino Álvarez, Javier González-Gallego, and María J. Tuñón
Journal of Pineal Research, 2016, Volume 61, Number 2, Page 168
Shilo Rosenwasser, Carmit Ziv, Shiri Graff van Creveld, and Assaf Vardi
Trends in Microbiology, 2016, Volume 24, Number 10, Page 821
Marthe-Susanna Wegner, Susanne Schiffmann, Michael John Parnham, Gerd Geisslinger, and Sabine Grösch
Progress in Lipid Research, 2016, Volume 63, Page 93
Carmit Ziv, Sergey Malitsky, Alaa Othman, Shifra Ben-Dor, Yu Wei, Shuning Zheng, Asaph Aharoni, Thorsten Hornemann, and Assaf Vardi
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, Volume 113, Number 13, Page E1907
Boaz Job van Driel, Gongxian Liao, Pablo Engel, and Cox Terhorst
Frontiers in Immunology, 2016, Volume 7
Nicholas S. Heaton, Natasha Moshkina, Romain Fenouil, Thomas J. Gardner, Sebastian Aguirre, Priya S. Shah, Nan Zhao, Lara Manganaro, Judd F. Hultquist, Justine Noel, David Sachs, Jennifer Hamilton, Paul E. Leon, Amit Chawdury, Shashank Tripathi, Camilla Melegari, Laura Campisi, Rong Hai, Giorgi Metreveli, Andrea V. Gamarnik, Adolfo García-Sastre, Benjamin Greenbaum, Viviana Simon, Ana Fernandez-Sesma, Nevan J. Krogan, Lubbertus C.F. Mulder, Harm van Bakel, Domenico Tortorella, Jack Taunton, Peter Palese, and Ivan Marazzi
Immunity, 2016, Volume 44, Number 1, Page 46
Pavlina T. Ivanova, David S. Myers, Stephen B. Milne, Jennifer L. McClaren, Paul G. Thomas, and H. Alex Brown
ACS Infectious Diseases, 2015, Volume 1, Number 9, Page 435

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