Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) is a multi-functional enzyme widely present in nature. It converts primary amines into their corresponding aldehydes, while generating H(2)O(2) and NH(3). In mammals, SSAO circulates in plasma, while a membrane-bound form (often referred to as vascular adhesion protein-1, VAP-1) is found in many tissues and organs, especially in adipocytes and vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. In recent years, evidence has been accumulating that SSAO has a role in protein cross-linking, formation of advanced glycation end-products, atherogenesis, glucose regulation and leukocyte extravasation at inflammation sites. Plasma SSAO is quite stable in healthy adults, but is elevated in diabetes mellitus (both type 1 and type 2), congestive heart failure and liver cirrhosis. The origin of circulating SSAO remains unclear, but recent evidence from clinical studies and from (transgenic) animal studies suggests that adipocytes and vascular endothelial cells may be the most important source. Studies with cell cultures show evidence that the membrane-bound SSAO can be split off from the cells, thus giving rise to the (truncated) circulating form of SSAO. In some pathological conditions the diseased organ may be the main source of the elevated plasma SSAO. Little is known as yet about the regulation of plasma SSAO. Thyroid hormone appears to play a (modest) role in this respect. Further evidence from clinical, animal and cell-culture studies, helped by the new availability of selective SSAO inhibitors, is needed to shed more light on the question of the regulation of SSAO.

Aldehydes/metabolism, Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)/blood/*metabolism, Amines/metabolism, Ammonia/metabolism, Animals, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/enzymology, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/enzymology, Humans, Hydrogen Peroxide/metabolism, Mammals
Medical Science Monitor: international medical journal for clinical and experimental research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Boomsma, F, Hut, H, Bagghoe, U, & van den Meiracker, A.H. (2005). Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO): from cell to circulation. Medical Science Monitor: international medical journal for clinical and experimental research. Retrieved from