Sphingomyelin (SM) is one of the major phospholipids (components of the plasma membranes of cells) of the lipid microdomains. These are important regulators in the control of lipid entry into storage form, the lipid droplet. In this study, researchers looked at an enzyme of this SM that you can see in this figure, SMS2. Why is this important? This is why: deficiency in this enzyme prevents HFD-induced fatty acid uptake and lipid droplet formation, which would lead to fatty liver, obesity, and insulin resistance. We want this enzyme inhibited or downregulated in the body.Therefore, you are potentially looking at the next pharmaceutical target for the treatment of obesity and Type-2 diabetes by regulating the lipid domains on the plasma membranes of cells and subsequently, storage of lipid (fat).
Mitsutake et al J Biol Chem. 2011 Jun 13.