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Keywords:

  • saposin D;
  • ceramide activator proteins

Saposin D is a sphingolipid activator protein required for the lysosomal breakdown of ceramide to a fatty acid and sphingosine by acid ceramidase. The crystal structure of saposin D has been determined in two different crystal forms, resulting in a total of six crystallographically independent views of this small 80-amino-acid protein. All of the structures are highly similar and reveal the monomeric form of the saposin fold previously seen in the crystal structures of saposins A and C. Saposin D is slightly more compact than the related saposins A and C owing to a slight repositioning of the `stem' and `hairpin' regions of the protein.