Despite of the importance of the acid sphingomyelinase for sphingomyelin homeostasis and sphingolipid signalling, potent and selective inhibitors for this enzyme are rare. An increasing set of data on the inhibition of acid sphingomyelinase in different disease models using indirect inhibitors has been generated and strongly implies acid sphingomyelinase as an emerging drug target. Very recently, some new and promising inhibitors from different substance classes have been developed. In this review, previous and current developments in the field are summarized.
Copyright 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.