Cell membrane lipids as experimental therapeutic targets

Jerald J. Killion, Alan J. Schroit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cell membranes contain numerous species of glycosphingolipids (GSL) and glycerophospholipids. Changes in the surface expression of these moieties that accompany malignant transformation are potential targets for immune therapies. There is increasing evidence that tumour specificity resides in the carbohydrate composition and topography of gangliosides and in the asymmetric distribution of phospholipids in the bilayer membrane. However, since these epitopes are not antigenic, circumvention of immunological tolerance to these self antigens is required to generate an effective immune response. New methodologies accomplish this by coupling these hapten-like lipid epitopes to immunogenic protein carriers. Indeed, the generation of immune responses to endogenous lipid antigens occurs in several autoimmune syndromes and may serve as natural models for therapeutic immune intervention that influence pathways critical to tumour angiogenesis, proliferation and apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-468
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999


  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • autoimmunity
  • cancer
  • gangliosides
  • lipid antigens
  • macrophages
  • phosphatidylserine
  • β2-glycoprotein 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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