Neutral sphingomyelinase: Localization in rat liver nuclei and involvement in regeneration/proliferation

Alice Alessenko, Subroto Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We have studied the localization of neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase) in rat liver nuclei. The levels of neutral sphingomyelinase in regenerating liver nuclei were also assessed. We found that rat liver nuclei contain a sphingomyelinase having a pH optima of 7.2 and a kDa of 92. In intact nuclei, neutral sphingomyelinase was associated predominantly with the nuclear envelope. In regenerating/proliferating rat liver (during DNA synthesis), neutral sphingomyelinase was translocated from the nuclear envelope to the nuclear matrix. The levels of sphingomyelin in whole nuclei decreased in reverse proportion to an increase in the levels of neutral sphingomyelinase. By contrast, there was a corresponding increase in the levels of ceramide and sphingosine during cell regeneration/proliferation. Thus, endogenous nuclear neutral sphingomyelinase may play a role in the regulation of sphingomyelin levels and in relevant signal transduction reactions involving cell regeneration/proliferation. The potential significance of ceramide generation may be aimed at programmed cell death to allow the regeneration of liver mediated via target proteins such as, ceramide activated protein kinases/phospholipases or other unknown mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995


  • cell proliferation
  • localization
  • neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase)
  • nuclei
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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