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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ceramide as an activator lipid of cathepsin D.

We have identified the aspartic protease cathepsin D as a novel intracellular target protein for the lipid second messenger ceramide. Ceramide specifically binds to and induces CTSD proteolytic activity. A-SMase deficient cells derived from Niemann-Pick patients show decreased CTSD activity that was reconstituted by transfection with A-SMase cDNA. Ceramide accumulation in cells derived from A-ceramidase defective Farber patients correlates with enhanced CTSD activity. These findings suggest that A-SMase-derived ceramide targets endolysosomal CTSD.[1]


  1. Ceramide as an activator lipid of cathepsin D. Heinrich, M., Wickel, M., Winoto-Morbach, S., Schneider-Brachert, W., Weber, T., Brunner, J., Saftig, P., Peters, C., Krönke, M., Schütze, S. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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