Thirty years ago, glycerolipids captured the attention of biochemical researchers as novel cellular signaling entities. We now recognize that these biomolecules occupy signaling nodes critical to a number of physiological and pathological processes. Thus, glycerolipid-metabolizing enzymes present attractive targets for new therapies. A number of fields-ranging from neuroscience and cancer to diabetes and obesity-have elucidated the signaling properties of glycerolipids. The biochemical literature teems with newly emerging small molecule inhibitors capable of manipulating glycerolipid metabolism and signaling. This ever-expanding pool of chemical modulators appears daunting to those interested in exploiting glycerolipid-signaling pathways in their model system of choice. This review distills the current body of literature surrounding glycerolipid metabolism into a more approachable format, facilitating the application of small molecule inhibitors to novel systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Tools to study lipid functions.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.