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Ricardo D Lardone, Ingrid Cely, Peter A Sieling and Delphine J Lee
Although originally considered merely structural components of cellular membranes, glycosphingolipids (GSL) are now recognized as having critical effects on cellular physiology, including proliferation, differentiation, viral transformation and ontogenesis. In addition, a vast majority of human cancers have modified GSL composition compared to parental normal cells. These modifications may contribute to both tumor survival and exert striking effects on anti-tumor immunity. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of immune modulation by tumor-secreted GSL.