Fifty years of lyase and a moment of truth: sphingosine phosphate lyase from discovery to disease.


Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA 94609 [Email]


Sphingosine phosphate lyase (SPL) is the final enzyme in the sphingolipid degradative pathway, catalyzing the irreversible cleavage of long-chain base phosphates (LCBPs) to yield a long-chain aldehyde and ethanolamine phosphate (EP). SPL guards the sole exit point of sphingolipid metabolism. Its inactivation causes product depletion and accumulation of upstream sphingolipid intermediates. The main substrate of the reaction, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), is a bioactive lipid that controls immune-cell trafficking, angiogenesis, cell transformation, and other fundamental processes. The products of the SPL reaction contribute to phospholipid biosynthesis and programmed cell-death activation. The main features of SPL enzyme activity were first described in detail by Stoffel et al. in 1969. The first SPL-encoding gene was cloned from budding yeast in 1997. Reverse and forward genetic strategies led to the rapid identification of other genes in the pathway and their homologs in other species. Genetic manipulation of SPL-encoding genes in model organisms has revealed the contribution of sphingolipid metabolism to development, physiology, and host-pathogen interactions. In 2017, recessive mutations in the human SPL gene SGPL1 were identified as the cause of a novel inborn error of metabolism associated with nephrosis, endocrine defects, immunodeficiency, acanthosis, and neurological problems. We refer to this condition as SPL insufficiency syndrome (SPLIS). Here, we share our perspective on the 50-year history of SPL from discovery to disease, focusing on insights provided by model organisms regarding the pathophysiology of SPLIS and how SPLIS raises the possibility of a hidden role for sphingolipids in other disease conditions.


SGPL1,sphingolipids,sphingosine phosphate lyase insufficiency syndrome,sphingosine-1-phosphate,