Lack of sphingosine 1-phosphate-degrading enzymes in erythrocytes

Kiyoharu Ito, Yoshihiro Anada, Motohiro Tani, Mika Ikeda, Takamitsu Sano, Akio Kihara, Yasuyuki Igarashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Platelets are known to store a large amount of the bioactive lipid molecule sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and to release it into the plasma in a stimuli-dependent manner. Erythrocytes can also release S1P, independently from any stimuli. We measured the S1P and sphingosine (Sph) levels in erythrocytes by HPLC and found that the contribution of erythrocyte S1P to whole blood S1P levels is actually higher than that of platelets. In vitro assays demonstrated that erythrocytes possess much weaker Sph kinase activity compared to platelets but lack the S1P-degrading activities of either S1P lyase or S1P phosphohydrolase. This combination may enable erythrocytes to maintain a high S1P content relative to Sph. The absence of both S1P-degrading enzymes has not been reported for other cell types. Thus, erythrocytes may be specialized cells for storing and supplying plasma S1P.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 25 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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