Sphingosine

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sphingosine

[′sfiŋ·gə‚sēn]
(biochemistry)
C18H37O2N A moiety of sphingomyelin, cerebrosides, and certain other phosphatides.

Sphingosine

 

an unsaturated higher aliphatic amino alcohol, C13H27CH=CHCH(OH)CH(NH2)CH2OH. Sphingosine is soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water; its melting point is 81.5°–83°C, and its properties are those of a base. Sphingosine occurs in nature as a constituent of sphingolipids. Its biosynthesis in cells is effected from the amino acid serine and palmitic acid with the participation of coenzyme A. Sphingosine exhibits an anticoagulant effect since it inhibits the conversion of prothrom-bin to thrombin. The more than 60 analogues of sphingosine— sphingosine bases—are distinguished by the length of the aliphatic chain, the degree of nonsaturation, the type of branching, and the location of the double bond.