13th Meeting

Cascais, Portugal, May 6-10 2019

The 2019 FEBS Special Meeting in Sphingolipid Biology, joint with the Sphingolipid Club and the International Ceramide Conference, has covered interdisciplinary topics associated with Sphingolipid Biology, ranging from emerging tools to study sphingolipid structure and function, to their roles in membrane organization, dynamics, signalling and metabolism. Emphasis has been placed in the role of sphingolipids in several human diseases, including, cancer, metabolic syndrome, genetic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, both as players in the aetiology and as targets and/or therapeutic entities of those diseases.

Scientific sessions and round-table discussions moderated by recognized leaders of the field, together with poster and oral communications from established, early-stage career scientists and students, has provided the ideal setting for networking and close interaction between speakers and participants.

EMBO Keynote Lecture

“Novel tools and aspects of sphingolipid metabolism and function”

Howard Riezman, University of Geneva
Chair: Myles Cabot, East Carolina University

Session 1 > Innovative Tools to study Sphingolipid Structure and Function

Overview of the Field by the Chair:
Hot Topics and Open Questions

Thorsten Hornemann, University Hospital Zurich

Ceramidases: Chemical Sensors and Inhibitor

Gemma Fabrias, Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia

Novel applications of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in sphingolipid enzymology

Christoph Arenz, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin

Short and facile synthesis of a combinatorial library of the CERT inhibitor HPA12

Essa M. Saied, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin

In-situ single cell lipidomics by imaging mass spectrometry

Laura Capolupo, Ecole Polytechnique federale de Lausanne

The structure and function of alkaline ceramidase 3 are related to adiponectin receptors

Sebastien Granier, Institut de Genomique Fonctionnelle

Temporal and tissue specific requirements of CerS Schlank and the consequences of its inactivation with respect to the complete protein and the two distinct functional domains of the protein

Reinhard Bauer, University of Bonn

Tango for promiscuity: Role of SPTLC3 in generating sphingolipid heterogeneity

Museer Lone
University Hospital Zurich

General Discussion of Session 1

Thorsten Hornemann

Introduction to FEBS activities

Zrinka Kovarik

Session 2: Sphingolipids in Membrane Structure and Dynamics

Overview of the Field by the Chair: Hot Topics and Open Questions

Alicia Alonso
Instituto Biofisika

Sphingolipids: from lipid domain pattern to functioning in Alzheimer’s disease

Galya Staneva
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Profound changes in the dynamic properties of the cell membrane due to sphingolipid accumulation in a cellular model of Gaucher’s disease

Peter Nagy
University of Debrecen

The effect of canonical and 1-deoxy(methyl) sphingoid bases in membrane fluidity and lateral organization

Tania Santos
Universidade de Lisboa

GLTP’s emerging role within the lipid synthesis and transport machinery

Anders Backman
Abo Akademi University

Sphingolipid-enriched Domains in Yeast Plasma Membrane: a Biophysical Perspective

Rodrigo F.M. de Almeida
Universidade de Lisboa

Impact of glycosphingolipids on membrane organization: focus on lipid nanodomains and their influence on peptide-membrane interactions

Maria J. Sarmento
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry

Sphingolipid headgroup impact on gel domains in Saccharomyces cerevisiae plasma membrane

Joaquim Trigo Marques
Universidade de Lisboa

How to get sphingolipids to the plasma membrane a lipid sorting story

Joanna Podkalicka
Institut Curie

General Discussion of Session 2

Alicia Alonso

Session 3: Sphingolipids in Cell Physiology: Signaling, Trafficking, and Metabolism Part 1

Overview of the Field by the Chair: Hot Topics and Open Questions

Sarah Spiegel
Virginia Commonwealth University
Yasuyuki Igarashi
Hokkaido University

Membrane lipids and the activity of sphingolipid-cleaving hydrolases

Konrad Sandhoff
University of Bonn

0 Molecular dissection of ceramide-induced apoptosis using photo-actuated lipid probes

Joost Holthius
University of Osnabruck

The role of acid sphingomyelinase activity in the regulation of CREB Signaling

Cosima Rhein
FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg

The Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) activator ATF6 responds to proteotoxic and lipotoxic stress by distinct mechanisms

Maho Niwa-Rosen
University of California San Diego

Sphingolipid de novo biosynthesis: Regulation and pathological impact

Anna Rita Di Lorenzo
Weill Cornell Medical College

Sphingolipids and Flaviviruses: an intimate union

Fikadu Tafesse
Oregon Health and Science University

The glycosphingolipid metabolic switch controls neural differentiation

Domenico Russo
Institute of Protein Biochemistry – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

Ceramide nanoliposomes and autophagic inhibitors synergize in resistant Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Jeremy Shaw
University of Virginia

Session 3: Sphingolipids in Cell Physiology: Signaling, Trafficking, and Metabolism Part 2

Systematic development of natural ligand-nonmimetic inhibitors to the ceramide transport protein CERT

Kentaro Hanada
National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Sphingolipid synthesis inhibition by Myriocin post conditioning enhances lipid consume and ameliorates response to myocardial I/R injury

Paola Signorelli
University of Milan

The juxtamembrane linker functions as an intramolecular allosteric switch to activate neutral sphingomyelinase-2

Prajna Shanbhogue
Stony Brook University

The neutral sphingomyelinase 2 is required for endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane communication and cholesterol turnover in T cell Activation

Elita Avota
University Wuerzburg

Ceramide regulates interaction of Hsd17b4 with Pex5 and function of peroxisomes.

Erhard Bieberich
University of Kentucky

Differential roles of ceramide synthases in pancreatic beta cell demise

Kerstin Grieß
German Diabetes Center DDZ

Lipid patterning and interplay during protein sorting at transGolgi network

Yohann Boutte

Sphingosine kinase 1: An enigmatic regulator of the adipocyte circadian transcription complex

Andrea Anderson
Virginia Commonwealth University

S1P1 receptor activity in rodent brain

Jonatan Martinez-Gardeazabal
University of the Basque Country

General Discussion of Session 3

Sarah Spiegel, Yasuyuki Igarashi

Session 4: Sphingolipids in Health and Disease Part 1

Overview of the Field by the Chair: Hot Topics and Open Questions

Thierry Levade, Paul Sabatier
University of Toulouse
Antonio Gomez-Munoz
University of the Basque Country

Membrane sphingolipid synthesis and metabolic regulation: a novel function of GPRC5B

Yoshio Hirabayashi

Ceramide acyl chain length affects hepatic triglycerides via regulating endoplasmic reticulum stress

Joo-Won Park
Ewha Womans University

Dissecting the role of sphingolipids in the phagocytic clearance of pathogens

Patrick Niekamp
University of Osnabrueck

Targeting dihydroceramide desaturase (DEGS1) to overcome anoikis resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer

Christopher J. Clarke
Stony Brook University

Homeostatic and pathogenic roles of GM3 ganglioside molecular species in TLR4 signaling

Jin-Ichi Inokuchi
Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University

Cancer Associated Glycosphingolipids as Targets for Immunotherapy

Alice Yu
Chang Gung University

Protumorigenic activity of Betagalactosylceramidase: A novel player in cutaneous melanoma

Mirella Belleri
University of Brescia

SMPDL3B is a Major Regulator of Proteinuria in Experimental Alport Syndrome

Alla Mitrofanova
University of Miami

Session 4: Sphingolipids in Health and Disease Part 2

Ceramide metabolism alterations in melanoma: from basic mechanisms to immunotherapy in advanced melanoma patients

Bruno Segui
Cancer Research Center of Toulose

Regulation of Sphingomyelin Synthase 1 in Leukemia: an Interesting “Start”

Chiara Luberto
Stony Brook University

Sphingolipid modulation activates autophagy and proteostasis programs to govern human hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal

Stephanie Xie
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Sphingosine kinases are key effectors of IL7R-mediated signaling, viability, growth and proliferation in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Marta B. Fernandes
Universidade de Lisboa

Targeting sphingosine kinases in disease

Susan Pyne
University of Strathclyde

The Apolipoprotein M/S1P axis controls triglyceride metabolism and brown fat activity

Christina Christofferson

Non-canonical sphingolipids mediate cardiomyocyte death in models of ischemia

Anna Kovilakath
Virginia Commonwealth University

Glycosphingolipid Dynamics in Human Embryonic Stem Cell and Cancer

John Yu
Chang Gung University

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 1-deoxysphingolipids in anoxic death, viral infections and anthrax intoxication

J. Thomas Hannich
University of Geneva

General Discussion of Session 4
Thierry Levade, Antonio Gomez-Munoz

Session 5: ISN Symposium on Sphingolipids in Neural Pathologies

Overview of the Field by the Chair: Hot Topics and Open Questions

Elisabetta Albi
University of Perugia

The role of host Glycosphingolipids in viral infection of the CNS

Einat Vitner
Israel Institute of Biological Research

The role of the non-lysosomal glucosylceramidase GBA2 in regulation locomotion

Dagmar Wachten
University of Bonn

Chronic stress causes neurodegeneration through AMPA receptor and Gd1a ganglioside in age and sex specific manner in rats

Marta Balog
University of Osijek

Regulation of major depression by lysosomal sphingolipids

Erich Gulbins
University Hospital Essen

Sphingolipid metabolism: new perspectives for treating Huntington’s disease

Vittorio Maglione

General Discussion of Session 5

Elisabetta Albi

Keynote Lecture
“ER-Golgi Contact Sites”

Maria De Matteis
Chair: Tony Futerman
Weizmann Institute

Concluding Remarks

Liana Silva & Giovanni D’Angelo


1. “The lipid status in patients with ulcerative colitis: inhibition of the sphingolipid de novo synthesis might be an important trigger for UC”

Sabine Groesch

2. “A new mouse model exploring chronic neuronopathic Gaucher Disease”

Yael Pewzner-Jung
Weizmann Institute of Science

3. “Role of sphingolipids and their metabolites in mycobacteria engulfment and escape of pathogenic mycobacteria from human phagocytes”

Kazuhisa Iwabuchi
Junteno University

4. “In vivo validation of two novel S1P1-selective compounds, ST-1893 and ST-1894, in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model in mice”

Bisera Stepanovska
University of Bern

5. “Characterization of ARC39, a new inhibitor of acid sphingomyelinase”

Eyad Naser
University Hospital Essen

6. “Alleviation of Alzheimer’s disease pathology by ceramide-modulated extracellular vesicles”

Yasuyuki Igarashi
Hokkaido University

7. “Gaucher disease neuronal cell models under biophysical investigation: changes in membrane fluidity”

Sarka Pokorna
Weizmann Institute of Science

8. “CerS6 and GCS regulate not only multiple drug resistance, but also estrogen receptor expression”

WooJae Park
Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute

9. “Downregulation of the S1P transporter spinster homology protein 2 (Spns2) exerts an antifibrotic and antiinflammatory effect in human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells”

Andrea Huwiler
University of Bern

10. “The glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor PDMP inhibits lysosomal sphingolipid degradation”

Pia Hartwig
Heidelberg University

11. “Lead Optimization of Sphingosine Kinase 1 Inhibitor”

Bernandie Jean
Stony Brook University

12. “Tackling a possible relationship between fungal plasma membrane biophysical properties and antifungal sensitivity”

Filipa C. Santos
Universidade de Lisboa

13. “Dynamics of glucosylceramide metabolism in the endocytic pathway”

Lya Holland
Danish Cancer Society

14. “Development of inhibitors of neutral ceramidase with cytotoxic activity on colon cancer cells “

Nuria Bielsa
Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia

15. “LAPTM4B is sorted in multivesicular endosomes and regulates the exosomal sphingolipid content”

Tomas Blom
University of Helsinki

16. “Modulation of lipid metabolism in human neuroblastoma cells infected with tick borne encephalitis virus “

Pavlina Simeckoba
Veterinary Research Institute

17. “A transcriptomic approach to identify the sphingolipid metabolic pathway in gut-associated Bacteroides”

Stacey Heaver
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology

18. “Searching for candidates for novel lipidomic biomarkers in colon cancer-derived tissue samples”

Miroslav Machala
Veterinary Research Institute

19. “Molecular mechanisms regulating Nogo-B interaction with SPT in health and disease states”

Linda Sasset
Weill-Cornell Medical College

20. “Myriocin potential as a phenotype-modifying therapeutical in Cystic Fibrosis”

Alessadra Mingione
University of Milan

21. “Sphingosine kinase 1 as a therapeutic target in mutant or null p53 thymic lymphoma.”

Fabiola Velazquez
Stony Brook University

22. “The linoleic acid content of the stratum corneum of ichthyotic Golden retriever dogs is reduced as compared to healthy dogs and a significant part is oxidized in both free and esterified forms”

Iuliana Popa
Paris-Sud University

23. “Inflammatory role of extracellular lipids in Cystic Fibrosis”

Anna Caretti
University of Milan

24. “Roles of ceramide in necroptosis regulation”

Kazayuki Kitatani
Setsunan University

25. “Modulation of ceramide levels in rabbit’s eyes by eye-drop myriocin administration”

Michele Dei Cas
University of Milan

26. “Therapeutic Efficacy of Ceramide NanoLiposomes in Androgen-Receptor Negative Prostate Cancer“

Pedro Costa-Pinheiro
University of Virginia

27. “Endogenous ceramide species generated from C2-ceramide inhibit insulin signal in muscle cells”

Eric Hajduch
Centre De Recherche Des Cordeliers

28. “Sphingolipid levels in ischemic stroke – effects on stroke size and post-stroke immunosuppression”

Robert Brunkhorst
University Clinic Frankfurt Am Main

29. “Aberrant DEGS1 activity alters sphingolipid metabolism and causes leukodystrophy and axonal degeneration”

Thorsten Hornemann
Zurich University

30. “Blood ceramides as markers for renal impairment in SLE”

Alexander Koch
University Hospital and Goethe University

31. Pre-clinical models for testing L-serine supplementation for preventing taxane-induced neuropathy”

Stefanka Spassieva
University of Kentucky

32. “General polarization and AFM study of sphingolipid-deficient cell membranes”

Bingen G. Monasterio
Instituto Biofisika

33. “Selective disruption of sphingosine kinase 1 in pancreatic β cell impairs insulin secretion but increases β cell mass during obesity”

Herve Le Stunff
Universite Paris-Sud

34. “Alterations in membrane biophysical properties caused by cell culture conditions“

Ana Ester Ventura
iMed-Universidade de Lisboa

35. “Plasma sphingolipids and risks of atrial fibrillation sudden cardiac death in older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study”

Rozenn Lemaitre
University of Washington

36. “Investigation of lysosomal dysfunction and potential novel therapeutic targets in lysosomal storage diseases”

Kamilla Meyer

37. “Protective effects of S1P signaling and metabolism on experimental sepsis”

Anke Ziegler
University Hospital Jena

38. “Sphingolipid inventory and variability in human platelets and plasma”

Jeongah Oh
National University of Singapore

39. “Are Nanodomains Enriched with Sphingomyelin Inter-Leaflet Coupled?”

Radek Sachl
J. Hevrosky Institute of Physical Chemistry

40. “Mechanisms of sphingolipid processing revealed by a SapA-GALC complex”

Janet Deane
University of Cambridge

41. “Targeting sphingolipid metabolism as a novel Osteosarcoma treatment”

Sofia Avnet
Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute

42. “RVT-801, an investigational enzyme replacement therapy for Farber disease, reduces ceramide levels and ameliorates the pro-inflammatory phenotype in a Farber mouse model”

Alexander Solyom

43. “The UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG) impacts breast cancer cell energy metabolism”

Nina Schoemel
University Clinic Frankfurt Am Main

44. “Regulation of the sphingolipid pattern in Andean Children born and living at high altitude”

Pietro Barbacini
University of Milan

45. “Mass spectrometric tracking of the sphingolipid de novo pathway via isotope labeled substrates in rat microsomes”

Dominik Wigger
Universitat Potsdam

46. “Probing sphingolipid flux in response to chemotherapeutics.”

Justin Snider
Stony Brook University

47. “Niemann-Pick Type C disease: At the Crossroads of Cholesterol and Sphingolipid Metabolism”

Jason Newton
Virginia Commonwealth University


1. “Acylceramide production and skin barrier formation by the fatty acid ω-hydroxylase CYP4F22/Cyp4f39”

Akio Kihara
Hokkaido University

2. “Biophysical impact of lipid abnormal accumulation in NPC 1 cell models”

Liana Silva
Universidade de Lisboa

3. “The impact of the UDP-glucose ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG) on the energy metabolism of breast cancer cells”

Marthe-Susanna Wegner
University Clinic Frankfurt Am Main

4. “How to detect the unknown knowns: low abundant intermediates of plant sphingolipid metabolism”

Cornelia Herrfurth
Georg-August-University Goettingen

5. “Role of acid sphingomyelinase in mycobacterial infection”

Yuqing Wu
University Hospital Essen

6. “Sphingomyelin in intranuclear environment”

Elisabetta Albi
University of Perugia

7. “Saturated fatty acid-induced inflammation: roles for sphingolipid metabolism”

Songhwa Choi
Stony Brook University

8. “Could changes in sphingolipid metabolism/transcriptome reflect neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants?”

Jirina Prochazkova
Veterinary Research Institute

9. “Multipolar approach to decipher Glycosyl Inositol Phosphoryl Ceramides’ (GIPCs) properties in plasma membrane nanodomain formation using biophysical tools”

Adillah Mamode Cassim
CNRS-Bordeaux University

10. “Post translational regulation of Glycosphingolipid Synthesizing Enzymes (GSE’s) in neurogenesis.”

Jaipreet Loomba
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

11. “Interactions between Ceramides and Lysophospholipids in Fluid Phosphatidylcholine Bilayers”

Md Abdullah Sazzad
Abo Akademi University

12. “Design and Synthesis of Different FRET Probes for The Functional Analysis of The Acid Sphingomyelinase”

Zainelabdeen Ahmed
Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin

13. “GOLPH3 promotes oncogenesis by controlling the intra-Golgi trafficking of glycosphingolipid synthases”

Riccardo Rizzo
Institute of Protein Biochemistry

14. “The protective effect of inhibiting sphingosine kinase 2 in a psoriasis-like mouse model”

Younghay Lee
Ewha Womans University

15. “Probing the interaction of GOLPH3 with glycosphingolipid synthesizing enzymes”

Anthony Vocat
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

16. “New fluorogenic probes for neutral and alkaline ceramidases”

Mireia Casasampe
Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia

17. “Sphingolipids are privileged players in polyphenol-membrane interactions”

Carla Sousa
Universidade de Lisboa

18. “Induction of isometamidium resistance in Trypanosoma brucei is associated with alterations in the parasites’ sphingolipid complement”

Emily Dickie
University of Glasgow

19. “LXR protects from Fumonisin B1 toxicity”

Nicolas Loiseau

20. “Activity-Based Imaging of Acid Ceramidase in Living Cells”

Mazen Aseeri
Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia

21. “Role of Sphingosine kinase 1 and 2 in skeletal muscle cells”

Federica Pierucci
University of Florence

22. “Targeting SK1 to enhance oncogene-induced senescence”

Magali Trayssac
Stony Brook University

23. “Gaining optical control over sphingolipid metabolism and signaling with photoswitchable lipid probes“

Tolulope Sokoya
University of Osnabruck

24. “Pro-inflammatory role of Spns2/S1P in microglia”

Guanghu Wang
University of Kentucky

25. “The role of ceramide synthases in human colorectal cancer progression”

Sebastien Brachtendorf
University Clinic Frankfurt Am Main

26. “An HPLC method using NBD C6-Ceramide to measure flux of sphingolipids in the Golgi”

Allen H. Lee
Stony Brook University

27. “Role of a novel C-terminal motif in the regulation of ceramide synthases”

Jiyoon Kim
Weizmann Institute of Science

28. “Implication of ceramide 1-phosphate in pre-adipocyte proliferation. Possible role in obesity.”

Asier Dominguez-Herrera
University of the Basque Country

29. “Clostridium perfringens phospholipase C, the main virulence factor in gas gangrene, causes Cer production on ganglioside deficient cells”

Laura Monturiol
Universidade de Costa Rica

30. “Pazopanib Radio-sensitization of Human Sarcoma Tumors via aSMase Activation”

Adriana Haimovitz-Friedman
Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute

31. “Implication of sphingolipid metabolites in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase deficient mice. Role of vitamin E”

Natalia Presa
University of the Basque Country

32. “Race disparity in blood sphingolipidomics associated with accelerated lupus vascular comorbidity”

Samar Hammad
Medical University of South Carolina

33. “Atypical and canonical sphingoid bases affect the permeability of model membranes”

Beatriz Mestre
Universidade de Lisboa

34. “Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors in renal diseases”

Timon Eckes
University Hospital and Goethe University Frankfurt

35. “Role of NSM-2 in early TCR metabolic signaling”

Maria de Lira
University Wuerzberg

36. “A study of the fatty acid compositions of ceramides and sphingomyelins in mammalian tissues and cultured cells”

Alicia Alonso
Instituto Biofisika

37. “1-deoxy-dihydroceramides inhibit the migration of NIH-3T3 cells”

Gergely Karsai
University Hospital Zurich

38. “Sphingolipid biosynthesis and function in bacteria”

Jonathan Padilla-Gomez
Center for Genome Sciences

39. “A Role for 1-O-acylceramide synthase (lysosomal phospholipase A2) in Drug Induced Phospholipidosis”

Vania Hinkovska-Galcheva
University of Michigan

40. “Hepatocyte-Expressed Sphingosine-Kinase-1 is Implicated in a Female-Specific Repression of Fibrosis”

David Montefusco
Virginia Commonwealth University

41. “Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was ameliorated by phytoceramide in mice”

Seikwan Oh
Ewha Womans University

42. “Influence of serum albumin (SA) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) on the signal transduction of sphingosine 1- phosphate (S1P) and its receptors”

Susann Hofmann
Jena University Hospital

43. “Unfolding the mechanism of NLP interactions with plant lipid membranes”

Katja Pirc
National Institute of Chemistry

44. “Sphingolipids required for survival of Caulobacter crescentus”

Roberto J. Olea-Ozuna
Center for Genome Sciences

45. “Ormdls are crucial for normal myelination”

Richard Proia
NIDDK, National Institutes of Health

46. “Host defense mechanisms against pathogens mediated by sphingolipids”

Tina Muller
University Hospital Jena

47. “CSF sphingolipids for the diagnosis of iNPH and AD pathologies”

Enrica Torretta
University of Milan

48. “The role of sialidase NEU3 in the cardiac response to Ischemia and Reperfusion injury”

Maria E. Canali
IRCCS Policlinico San Donato

49. “Synthesis and application of multifunctional sphingolipid derivatives”

Emma Farley
Oregon Health and Science University