IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: very-long-chain ceramide synthase

Reaction: a very-long-chain fatty acyl-CoA + a sphingoid base = a very-long-chain ceramide + CoA

Glossary: a sphingoid base = an amino alcohol, composed predominantly of 18 carbon atoms, characterized by the presence of a hydroxyl group at C-1 (and often also at C-3), and an amine group at C-2.

Other name(s): sphingoid base N-very-long-chain fatty acyl-CoA transferase; mammalian ceramide synthase 2; CERS3 (gene name); LASS3 (gene name); LAG1 (gene name); LAC1 (gene name); LOH1 (gene name); LOH3 (gene name)

Systematic name: very-long-chain fatty acyl-CoA:sphingoid base N-acyltransferase

Comments: This entry describes ceramide synthase enzymes that are specific for very-long-chain fatty acyl-CoA substrates. The two isoforms from yeast and the plant LOH1 and LOH3 isoforms transfer 24:0 and 26:0 acyl chains preferentially and use phytosphingosine as the preferred sphingoid base. The mammalian CERS2 isoform is specific for acyl donors of 20-26 carbons, which can be saturated or unsaturated. The mammalian CERS3 isoform catalyses this activity, but has a broader substrate range and also catalyses the activity of EC, ultra-long-chain ceramide synthase. Both mammalian enzymes can use multiple sphingoid bases, including sphinganine, sphingosine, and phytosphingosine.


1. Guillas, I., Kirchman, P.A., Chuard, R., Pfefferli, M., Jiang, J.C., Jazwinski, S.M. and Conzelmann, A. C26-CoA-dependent ceramide synthesis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is operated by Lag1p and Lac1p. EMBO J. 20 (2001) 2655-2665. [PMID: 11387200]

2. Pan, H., Qin, W.X., Huo, K.K., Wan, D.F., Yu, Y., Xu, Z.G., Hu, Q.D., Gu, K.T., Zhou, X.M., Jiang, H.Q., Zhang, P.P., Huang, Y., Li, Y.Y. and Gu, J.R. Cloning, mapping, and characterization of a human homologue of the yeast longevity assurance gene LAG1. Genomics 77 (2001) 58-64. [PMID: 11543633]

3. Schorling, S., Vallee, B., Barz, W.P., Riezman, H. and Oesterhelt, D. Lag1p and Lac1p are essential for the Acyl-CoA-dependent ceramide synthase reaction in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Mol. Biol. Cell 12 (2001) 3417-3427. [PMID: 11694577]

4. Mizutani, Y., Kihara, A. and Igarashi, Y. Mammalian Lass6 and its related family members regulate synthesis of specific ceramides. Biochem. J. 390 (2005) 263-271. [PMID: 15823095]

5. Laviad, E.L., Albee, L., Pankova-Kholmyansky, I., Epstein, S., Park, H., Merrill, A.H., Jr. and Futerman, A.H. Characterization of ceramide synthase 2: tissue distribution, substrate specificity, and inhibition by sphingosine 1-phosphate. J. Biol. Chem 283 (2008) 5677-5684. [PMID: 18165233]

6. Imgrund, S., Hartmann, D., Farwanah, H., Eckhardt, M., Sandhoff, R., Degen, J., Gieselmann, V., Sandhoff, K. and Willecke, K. Adult ceramide synthase 2 (CERS2)-deficient mice exhibit myelin sheath defects, cerebellar degeneration, and hepatocarcinomas. J. Biol. Chem 284 (2009) 33549-33560. [PMID: 19801672]

[EC created 2019]

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