Sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 3 catalyzes the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to form ceramide and phosphocholine. Ceramide mediates numerous cellular functions, such as apoptosis and growth arrest, and is capable of regulating these two cellular events independently. It also hydrolyzes sphingosylphosphocholine. Sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 3 regulates the cell cycle by acting as a growth suppressor in confluent cells. It likely acts as a regulator of postnatal development and participates in bone and dentin mineralization. It is activated by unsaturated fatty acids and phosphatidylserine. it is predominantly expressed in the brain.
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