EC - Sphingomyelin synthase

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
sphingomyelin synthase
Other names:
SM synthase
phosphatidylcholine:ceramide cholinephosphotransferase
Systematic name:
ceramide:phosphatidylcholine cholinephosphotransferase



The reaction can occur in both directions [3]. This enzyme occupies a central position in sphingolipid and glycerophospholipid metabolism [4]. Up- and down-regulation of its activity has been linked to mitogenic and pro-apoptotic signalling in a variety of mammalian cell types [4]. Unlike EC, ceramide cholinephosphotransferase, CDP-choline cannot replace phosphatidylcholine as the donor of the phosphocholine moiety of sphingomyelin [2].

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , DIAGRAM , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB
Gene Ontology: GO:0033188
UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot: (16) [show] [UniProt]


  1. Ullman, M.D. and Radin, N.S.
    The enzymatic formation of sphingomyelin from ceramide and lecithin in mouse liver.
    J. Biol. Chem. 249: 1506-1512 (1974). [PMID: 4817756]
  2. Voelker, D.R. and Kennedy, E.P.
    Cellular and enzymic synthesis of sphingomyelin.
    Biochemistry 21: 2753-2759 (1982). [PMID: 7093220]
  3. Huitema, K., van den Dikkenberg, J., Brouwers, J.F.H.M. and Holthuis, J.C.M.
    Identification of a family of animal sphingomyelin synthases.
    EMBO J. 23: 33-44 (2004). [PMID: 14685263]
  4. Tafesse, F.G., Ternes, P. and Holthuis, J.C.M.
    The multigenic sphingomyelin synthase family.
    J. Biol. Chem. 281: 29421-29425 (2006). [PMID: 16905542]
  5. Yamaoka, S., Miyaji, M., Kitano, T., Umehara, H. and Okazaki, T.
    Expression cloning of a human cDNA restoring sphingomyelin synthesis and cell growth in sphingomyelin synthase-defective lymphoid cells.
    J. Biol. Chem. 279: 18688-18693 (2004). [PMID: 14976195]

[EC created 2006]