Bacterial ceramide synthesis (WP5271)

Caulobacter vibrioides

This pathway depicts the bacterial ceramide synthesis; bacteria are known to produces various groups of sphingolipids. This lipid class holds several physiological functions. In the human microbiome, commensal and pathogenic bacteria use sphingolipids to mimic the inflammatory system of the host. Several key eukaryotic ceramide synthesis enzymes have no bacterial homologue, which creates a challenge in understanding their biosynthetic pathway(s). Sphingolipids have only been measured in a few bacterial taxa (e.g. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pichia pastoris)[PMID:29863195] and with great variety of acyl chain length and hydroxylation, headgroups, and the saturation degree. All of these variables influence the role of a sphingolipid on the host system and are therefore important to study in different bacteria. This pathway uses the example of C. Vibriodes (supported by BridgeDb and Ensembl); the publication describing this pathway was originally written for C. crescentus [PMID:34969973]; identifiers for data analysis might be found through the CauloBrowser tool [PMID:26476443].


Conroy lipids , Egon Willighagen , Alex Pico , Eric Weitz , and Denise Slenter


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Caulobacter vibrioides


Lipids and LIPID MAPS


Pathway Ontology

sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway lipid metabolic pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
3-ketosphinganine Metabolite lipidmaps:LMSP01020002
Palmitic acid Metabolite lipidmaps:LMFA01010001
Acyl-CoA Metabolite lipidmaps:LMFA07050000
N-acyl-sphinganine Metabolite lipidmaps:LMSP02020000
L-Serine Metabolite chebi:17115
N-acyl-3-oxosphinganine Metabolite lipidmaps:LMSP02080000
Palmitoyl-CoA Metabolite lipidmaps:LMFA07050360
CoA Metabolite chebi:15346
CoA Metabolite chebi:15346
Long-chain FA-CoA Ligase GeneProduct uniprot:A0A0H3C6D9
Spt GeneProduct uniprot:A0A0H3C7E9 AKA Serine palmitoyltransferase, SPT, spt
bCerS GeneProduct uniprot:A0A0H3C8X0
CerR GeneProduct uniprot:A0A0H3C8X7


  1. Sphingolipid biosynthesis in man and microbes. Harrison PJ, Dunn TM, Campopiano DJ. Nat Prod Rep. 2018 Sep 19;35(9):921–54. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Convergent evolution of bacterial ceramide synthesis. Stankeviciute G, Tang P, Ashley B, Chamberlain JD, Hansen MEB, Coleman A, et al. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Mar;18(3):305–12. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia