Ceramide-rich platforms in transmembrane signaling
Recent evidence suggests that ceramide regulates stress signaling via reorganization of the plasma membrane. The focus of this review will be to discuss the mechanism by which acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase)-generated ceramide initiates transmembrane signaling in the plasma membrane exoplasmic leaflet. In particular, we review the unique biophysical properties of ceramide that render it proficient in formation of signaling domains termed ceramide-rich platforms (CRPs), and the role of CRPs in the pathophysiology of various diseases. The biomedical significance of CRPs makes these structures an attractive therapeutic target.