Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: Many different stimuli such as bioactive agents and environmental stresses are known to cause the activation of sphingomyelinase (SMase), which hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to generate ceramide as a second messenger playing a key role in differentiation and apoptosis in various cell types. Here we identified multiple forms of the membrane-associated neutral SMase (N-mSMase) activity in bovine brain. They could be classified into two groups according to extracting agents: group T-mSMase, extracted with 0.2% Triton X-100, and group S-mSMase, extracted with 0.5 M (NH4)2SO4. Group T-mSMase: α, β, γ, and δ, which were extensively purified from 40,000-g pellets of bovine brain homogenates by 3,150-, 5,275-, 1,665-, and 2,556-fold over the membrane extracts, respectively, by sequential use of several column chromatographies. On the other hand, S-mSMase was eluted as two active peaks of S-mSMase ε and ζ in a phenyl-5PW hydrophobic HPLC column and further purified by 1,119- and 976-fold over 40,000-g pellets of the homogenates, respectively. These highly purified N-mSMase enzyme preparations migrated as several bands on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and showed many different features in biochemical properties such as pH dependence, Mg2+ requirements, and effects of detergents. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that mammalian brain N-mSMase may exist as multiple forms different in both its chromatographic profiles and biochemical properties.
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