Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

The tricyclic antidepressant desipramine causes a decrease in cellular acid sphingomyelinase (A-SMase, EC activity when added to culture medium of human fibroblasts. This effect can be prevented by incubation of the cells with the protease inhibitor leupeptin, which suggests that desipramine induces proteolytic degradation of the lysosomal enzyme. By using surface plasmon resonance (SPR, Biacore) we were able to monitor the interactions of A-SMase and substrate-containing lipid bilayers immobilized on the surface of a Pioneer trade mark L1 sensor chip. SPR binding curves show that the enzyme hardly dissociates from the lipid surface at acidic pH values. On the other hand, a drop in binding signals (resonance units, RU) of approximately 50% occurred after injection of 20 mM desipramine. Our findings indicate that desipramine interferes with the binding of A-SMase to the lipid bilayers and thereby displaces the enzyme from its membrane-bound substrate. The application of control substances suggests a key role for the cationic moiety of desipramine. We hypothesize that the displacement of the glycoprotein A-SMase from the inner membranes of late endosomes and lysosomes by desipramine renders it susceptible to proteolytic cleavage by lysosomal proteases.


Melanie Kölzer, Norbert Werth, Konrad Sandhoff. Interactions of acid sphingomyelinase and lipid bilayers in the presence of the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine. FEBS letters. 2004 Feb 13;559(1-3):96-8

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 14960314

View Full Text