Nuclear lipid metabolism is implicated in various processes, including transcription, splicing, and DNA repair. Sphingolipids play roles in numerous cellular functions, and an emerging body of literature has identified roles for these lipid mediators in distinct nuclear processes. Different sphingolipid species are localized in various subnuclear domains, including chromatin, the nuclear matrix, and the nuclear envelope, where sphingolipids exert specific regulatory and structural functions. Sphingomyelin, the most abundant nuclear sphingolipid, plays both structural and regulatory roles in chromatin assembly and dynamics in addition to being an integral component of the nuclear matrix. Sphingosine-1-phosphate modulates histone acetylation, sphingosine is a ligand for steroidogenic factor 1, and nuclear accumulation of ceramide has been implicated in apoptosis. Finally, nuclear membrane–associated ganglioside GM1 plays a pivotal role in Ca2+ homeostasis. This review highlights research on the factors that control nuclear sphingolipid metabolism and summarizes the roles of these lipids in various nuclear processes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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