Other Sphingosine Derivatives and Precursors

N,N-Diacyl sphingosines are potent and specific inhibitors of sphingosine kinase, the key enzyme in the phosphorylation of sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate. They have also been reported to inhibit protein kinase C (an enzyme that is responsible for phosphorylating amino acids) in certain types of cells.1 They induce apoptosis in various cells (including in a number of cancer cell lines), possibly due to the inhibition of sphingosine-1-phosphate synthesis and the resulting increase in ceramides. They also act as a stereospecific enhancer for epidermal growth factor receptor kinase.2


  1. J. Kim et al. “Synthesis and evaluation of sphingoid analogs as inhibitors of sphingosine kinases” Bioorg Med Chem, Vol. 13 pp. 3475-3485, 2005
  2. Y. Igarashi et al. “A Specific Enhancing Effect of N,N-Dimethylsphingosine on Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Autophosphorylation” Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 265(10) pp. 5385-5389, 1990