Involvement of a ceramide activated protein phosphatase in the differentiation of neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells

Alessandro Prinetti, Rosaria Bassi, Laura Riboni, Guido Tettamanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The possible involvement of protein phosphatase in ceramide-mediated neural cell differentiation was investigated. Neuroblastoma Neuro2a cell differentiation induced by retinoic acid, or conditions causing an increase in cellular ceramide, was significantly inhibited by the serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid, at concentrations as low as 2.5 nM. A crude cytosolic preparation front Neuro2a cells was found to have a cation-independent protein phosphatase activity that was stimulated by ceramide in a dose-dependent manner. Short- and long-chain ceramides, but not sphingosine and related dihydroderivatives, were active. Ceramide-activated protein phosphatase activity from Neuro2a cells was inhibited by 5 nM okadaic acid. The data indicate that a type 2A protein phosphatase is involved in ceramide-mediated differentiation of Neuro2a cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-479
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 1997



  • Ceramide
  • Neural cell differentiation
  • Neuroblastoma cells
  • Protein phosphates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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