Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in NPC1 or NPC2 with decreased functions leading to lysosomal accumulation of cholesterol and sphingolipids. FTY720/fingolimod, used for treatment of multiple sclerosis, is phosphorylated by nuclear sphingosine kinase 2, and its active phosphorylated form (FTY720-P) is an inhibitor of class I histone deacetylases. In this study, administration of clinically relevant doses of FTY720 to mice increased expression of NPC1 and -2 in brain and liver and decreased cholesterol in an SphK2-dependent manner. FTY720 greatly increased expression of NPC1 and -2 in human NPC1 mutant fibroblasts that correlated with formation of FTY720-P and significantly reduced the accumulation of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. In agreement with this finding, FTY720 pretreatment of human NPC1 mutant fibroblasts restored transport of the cholera toxin B subunit, which binds ganglioside GM1, to the Golgi apparatus. Together, these findings suggest that FTY720 administration can ameliorate cholesterol and sphingolipid storage and trafficking defects in NPC1 mutant fibroblasts. Because neurodegeneration is the main clinical feature of NPC disease, and FTY720 accumulates in the CNS and has several advantages over available histone deacetylase inhibitors now in clinical trials, our work provides a potential opportunity for treatment of this incurable disease.-Newton, J., Hait, N. C., Maceyka, M., Colaco, A., Maczis, M., Wassif, C. A., Cougnoux, A., Porter, F. D., Milstien, S., Platt, N., Platt, F. M., Spiegel, S. FTY720/fingolimod increases NPC1 and NPC2 expression and reduces cholesterol and sphingolipid accumulation in Niemann-Pick type C mutant fibroblasts.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1719 - 1730


glycosphingolipids, histone deacetylase inhibitor, lipid storage disease, sphingosine kinase, 3T3 Cells, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Cholesterol, Fibroblasts, Fingolimod Hydrochloride, Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors, Humans, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C, Protein Transport, Proteins, Sphingolipids, Vesicular Transport Proteins