Unusual Fatty Acids and Derivatives

N-Oleoylethanolamine is a naturally occurring acylethanolamide that has been shown to have many biological functions. It has been shown to be an efficacious inhibitor of acid ceramidase as well as an inhibitor of glucosylation of ceramides.1 It is, specifically, an inhibitor of the acid ceramidase found in the human kidney and cerebellum with an IC50 of approximately 500μM. Farber’s disease is characterized by a lack of acid ceramidase activity and N-oleoylethanolamine can be used to study aspects of this disease. Whereas the inhibitor D-MAPP potently inhibits alkaline ceramidase (IC50 approximately 5μM), N-oleoylethanolamine shows only slight inhibitory characteristics towards this ceramidase.2


  1. A. Spinedi et al. “N-Oleoylethanolamine inhibits glucosylation of natural ceramides in CHP-100 neuroepithelioma cells: possible implications for apoptosis” Biochem Biophys Res Commun, vol. 255 pp. 456-459, 1999
  2. A. Bielawska et al. “(1S,2R)-D-erythro-2-(N-Myristoylamino)-1-phenyl-1-propanol as an Inhibitor of Ceramidase” Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 271 pp. 12646-12654, 1996

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