The roles of neutral sphingomyelinases in neurological pathologies

Neurochem Res. 2012 Jun;37(6):1137-49. doi: 10.1007/s11064-011-0692-y. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Abstract

The neutral sphingomyelinases (N-SMases) are a group of Mg²⁺-dependent enzymes with a pH optimum in the neutral range. N-SMases catalyze the conversion of sphingomyelin to ceramide and have been found particularly enriched in brain tissue. N-SMase activity has been implicated in many physiological and pathological processes affecting the brain and nervous system. In this review, we discuss the proposed functions of N-SMase with a particular emphasis on its role in neurological disorders, such as age-related neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease, HIV-associated dementia, atherosclerosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Arteritis, Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Aging
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Ceramides / metabolism
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / enzymology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sphingolipids / metabolism
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase / physiology*
  • Thromboembolism / etiology

Substances

  • Ceramides
  • Sphingolipids
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase
  • Magnesium