The long-chain sphingoid base of sphingolipids is acylated at the cytosolic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum in rat liver.
ABSTRACT: Ceramide, a key intermediate in sphingolipid metabolism, is synthesized by acylation of sphinganine followed by dehydrogenation of dihydroceramide to ceramide. Using radioactive sphinganine, we have examined the site and topology of dihydroceramide synthesis in well-characterized subcellular fractions from rat liver. [4,5-3H]Sphinganine was introduced as a complex with BSA and was metabolized to [4,5-3H]dihydroceramide upon incubation of rat liver homogenates or microsomes with fatty acyl CoA. Conditions were established in a detergent-free system in which dihydroceramide synthesis was not limited by either substrate availability or by amounts of microsomal protein or reaction time. The distribution of dihydroceramide synthesis was found to exactly parallel that of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) marker upon subfractionation of microsomes, and no endogenous activity was detected in either purified Golgi apparatus or plasma membrane fractions. Limited protease digestion demonstrated that sphinganine N-acyltransferase is localized at the cytosolic surface of intact ER-derived vesicles. These results are discussed with regard to the subsequent transport of (dihydro)-ceramide from the ER to sites of further metabolism in a pre-Golgi apparatus compartment and in the cis and medial cisternae of the Golgi apparatus.
Project description:Ceramide has been suggested to be a potent bioactive lipid involved in cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Its precursor, dihydroceramide, does not affect these processes. The truncated dihydroceramide analogues N-hexanoyl-[4,5-3H]-d-erythro-sphinganine and N-[1-14C]-hexanoyl-d-erythro-sphinganine were used to study the conversion of dihydroceramide into ceramide by rat hepatocytes. The formation of tritiated water after the addition of the tritiated substrate to intact and permeabilized rat hepatocytes was followed to measure enzyme activity. Desaturation was severely depressed in permeabilized hepatocytes, suggesting loss of cofactors. Of a variety of cofactors tested in the permeabilized cells, NADPH appeared to be stimulatory, pointing to the involvement of a desaturase. In agreement with this, the addition of inhibitors and redox effectors known to affect Delta9-stearoyl-CoA desaturase and Delta1-plasmanyl-ethanolamine desaturase to intact cells resulted in severe inhibition of the desaturation. When added to permeabilized cells fortified with NADPH, these compounds counteracted the NADPH stimulation. The enzyme system was further studied in broken cells. On cell fractionation, the activity was recovered in the microsomal fraction. The results indicate that the conversion of dihydroceramide into ceramide is ctalysed by a desaturase and not by a dehydrogenase or an oxidase as was generally believed.
Project description:Sphingomyelin (SM) and cholesterol are coregulated metabolically and associate physically in membrane microdomains involved in cargo sorting and signaling. One mechanism for regulation of this metabolic interface involves oxysterol binding protein (OSBP) via high-affinity binding to oxysterol regulators of cholesterol homeostasis and activation of SM synthesis at the Golgi apparatus. Here, we show that OSBP regulation of SM synthesis involves the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi ceramide transport protein (CERT). RNA interference (RNAi) experiments in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cells revealed that OSBP and vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein (VAP) were required for stimulation of CERT-dependent ceramide transport and SM synthesis by 25-hydroxycholesterol and cholesterol depletion in response to cyclodextrin. Additional RNAi experiments in human embryonic kidney 293 cells supported OSBP involvement in oxysterol-activated SM synthesis and also revealed a role for OSBP in basal SM synthesis. Activation of ER-to-Golgi ceramide transport in CHO-K1 cells required interaction of OSBP with the ER and Golgi apparatus, OSBP-dependent Golgi translocation of CERT, and enhanced CERT-VAP interaction. Regulation of CERT by OSBP, sterols, and VAP reveals a novel mechanism for integrating sterol regulatory signals with ceramide transport and SM synthesis in the Golgi apparatus.
Project description:The mammalian Golgi apparatus is composed of multiple stacks of cisternal membranes organized laterally into a ribbon-like structure, with close apposition of trans Golgi regions with specialized endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. These contacts may be the site of ceramide transfer from its site of synthesis (ER) to sphingomyelin (SM) synthase through ceramide transfer protein (CERT). CERT extracts ceramide from the ER and transfers it to Golgi membranes but the role of overall Golgi structure in this process is unknown. We show here that localization of CERT in puncta around the Golgi complex requires both ER- and Golgi-binding domains of CERT. To examine how Golgi structure contributes to SM synthesis, we treated cells with Golgi-perturbing drugs and measured newly synthesized SM. Interestingly, disruption of Golgi morphology with nocodazole, but not ilimaquinone inhibited SM synthesis. Decreased localization of CERT with a Golgi marker correlated with decreased SM synthesis. We propose that some Golgi structural perturbations interfere with efficient ceramide trafficking through CERT, and thus SM synthesis. The organization of the mammalian Golgi ribbon together with CERT may promote specific ER-Golgi interactions for efficient delivery of ceramide for SM synthesis.
Project description:The mammalian Golgi apparatus is composed of multiple stacks of cisternal membranes organized laterally into a polarized ribbon. Furthermore, trans-Golgi membranes come in close apposition with ER (endoplasmic reticulum) membranes to form ER-trans-Golgi contact sites, which may facilitate transfer of newly synthesized ceramide from the ER to SM (sphingomyelin) synthase at the trans-Golgi via CERT (ceramide transfer protein). CERT interacts with both ER and Golgi membranes, and together with Golgi morphology contributes to efficient SM synthesis. In the present study, we show that Golgi disassembly during pro-apoptotic stress induced by TNF? (tumour necrosis factor ?) and anisomycin results in decreased levels of CERT at the Golgi region. This is accompanied by a caspase-dependent loss of full-length CERT and reduction in de novo SM synthesis. In vitro, CERT is cleaved by caspases 2, 3 and 9. Truncated versions of CERT corresponding to fragments generated by caspase 2 cleavage at Asp213 were mislocalized and did not promote efficient de novo SM synthesis. Thus it is likely that during cellular stress, disassembly of Golgi structure together with inactivation of CERT by caspases causes a reduction in ceramide trafficking and SM synthesis, and could contribute to the cellular response to pro-apoptotic stress.
Project description:Lipid composition varies among organelles, and the distinct lipid composition is important for specific functions of each membrane. Lipid transport between organelles, which is critical for the maintenance of membrane lipid composition, occurs by either vesicular or non-vesicular mechanisms. In yeast, ceramide synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is transported to the Golgi apparatus where inositolphosphorylceramide (IPC) is formed. Here we show that a fraction of Tcb3p, a yeast tricalbin protein, localizes to ER-Golgi contact sites. Tcb3p and their homologs Tcb1p and Tcb2p are required for formation of ER-Golgi contacts and non-vesicular ceramide transport. Absence of Tcb1p, Tcb2p, and Tcb3p increases acylceramide synthesis and subsequent lipid droplet (LD) formation. As LD can sequester excess lipids, we propose that tricalbins act as regulators of ceramide transport at ER-Golgi contact sites to help reduce a potentially toxic accumulation of ceramides.
Project description:Dihydroceramide is generated via the action of (dihydro)ceramide synthases (CerSs), which use two substrates, namely sphinganine and fatty acyl CoAs. Sphinganine is generated via the sequential activity of two integral membrane proteins located in the endoplasmic reticulum. Less is known about the source of supply of the fatty acyl CoAs, although a number of cytosolic proteins in the pathways of acyl CoA generation have been shown to modulate ceramide synthesis via direct or indirect interaction with the CerSs. We now demonstrate, by proteomic analysis of immunoprecipitated proteins, that fatty acid transporter protein 2 (FATP2) (also known as very long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase) directly interacts with CerS2 in mouse liver. Studies in cultured cells demonstrated that other members of the FATP family can also interact with CerS2, with the interaction dependent on both proteins being catalytically active. Transfection of cells with FATP1, FATP2 or FATP4 increased ceramide levels although only FATP2 and 4 increased dihydroceramide levels, consistent with their known intracellular locations. Finally, lipofermata, an FATP2 inhibitor which is believed to directly impact tumor cell growth via modulation of FATP2, decreased de novo dihydroceramide synthesis, suggesting that some of the proposed therapeutic effects of lipofermata may actually be mediated via (dihydro)ceramide rather than directly via acyl CoA generation
Project description:Ceramide (Cer) transfer from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus was measured under conditions that block vesicle-mediated protein transfer. This was done either in intact cells by reducing the incubation temperature to 15 degreesC, or in streptolysin O-permeabilized cells by manipulating the intracellular environment. In both cases, Cer transfer was not inhibited, as demonstrated by the biosynthesis of ceramide monohexosides and sphingomyelin (SM) de novo from metabolically (with [14C]serine) labelled Cer. This assay is based on the knowledge that Cer is synthesized, starting from serine and palmitoyl-CoA, at the ER, whereas glycosphingolipids and SM are synthesized in the (early) Golgi apparatus. Formation of [14C]glycosphingolipids and [14C]SM was observed under conditions that block vesicle-mediated vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein transport. These results indicate that [14C]Cer is transferred from ER to Golgi by a non-vesicular mechanism.
Project description:Previous studies demonstrated that sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) phosphohydrolase 1 (SPP-1), which is located mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), regulates sphingolipid metabolism and apoptosis (H. Le Stunff et al., J. Cell Biol. 158:1039-1049, 2002). We show here that the treatment of SPP-1-overexpressing cells with S1P, but not with dihydro-S1P, increased all ceramide species, particularly the long-chain ceramides. This was not due to inhibition of ceramide metabolism to sphingomyelin or monohexosylceramides but rather to the inhibition of ER-to-Golgi trafficking, determined with the fluorescent ceramide analog N-(4,4-difluoro-5,7-dimethyl-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene-3-pentanoyl)-d-erythro-sphingosine (DMB-Cer). Fumonisin B1, an inhibitor of ceramide synthase, prevented S1P-induced elevation of all ceramide species and corrected the defect in ER transport of DMB-Cer, readily allowing its detection in the Golgi. In contrast, ceramide accumulation had no effect on either the trafficking or the metabolism of 6-([N-(7-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino]hexanoyl)-sphingosine, which rapidly labels the Golgi even at 4 degrees C. Protein trafficking from the ER to the Golgi, determined with vesicular stomatitis virus ts045 G protein fused to green fluorescent protein, was also inhibited in SPP-1-overexpressing cells in the presence of S1P but not in the presence of dihydro-S1P. Our results suggest that SPP-1 regulates ceramide levels in the ER and thus influences the anterograde membrane transport of both ceramide and proteins from the ER to the Golgi apparatus.
Project description:The dihydroceramide desaturase (DES) enzyme is responsible for inserting the 4,5-trans-double bond to the sphingolipid backbone of dihydroceramide. We previously demonstrated that fenretinide (4-HPR) inhibited DES activity in SMS-KCNR neuroblastoma cells. In this study, we investigated whether 4-HPR acted directly on the enzyme in vitro. N-C8:0-d-erythro-dihydroceramide (C(8)-dhCer) was used as a substrate to study the conversion of dihydroceramide into ceramide in vitro using rat liver microsomes, and the formation of tritiated water after the addition of the tritiated substrate was detected and used to measure DES activity. NADH served as a cofactor. The apparent K(m) for C(8)-dhCer and NADH were 1.92 ± 0.36 ?m and 43.4 ± 6.47 ?m, respectively; and the V(max) was 3.16 ± 0.24 and 4.11 ± 0.18 nmol/min/g protein. Next, the effects of 4-HPR and its metabolites on DES activity were investigated. 4-HPR was found to inhibit DES in a dose-dependent manner. At 20 min, the inhibition was competitive; however, longer incubation times demonstrated the inhibition to be irreversible. Among the major metabolites of 4-HPR, 4-oxo-N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-oxo-4-HPR) showed the highest inhibitory effect with substrate concentration of 0.5 ?m, with an IC(50) of 1.68 ?m as compared with an IC(50) of 2.32 ?m for 4-HPR. N-(4-Methoxyphenyl)retinamide (4-MPR) and 4-Oxo-N-(4-methoxyphenyl)retinamide (4-oxo-4-MPR) had minimal effects on DES activity. A known competitive inhibitor of DES, C(8)-cyclopropenylceramide was used as a positive control. These studies define for the first time a direct in vitro target for 4-HPR and suggest that inhibitors of DES may be used as therapeutic interventions to regulate ceramide desaturation and consequent function.
Project description:Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins (ORPs) constitute a large gene family that differentially localize to organellar membranes, reflecting a functional role in sterol signaling and/or transport. OSBP partitions between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus where it imparts sterol-dependent regulation of ceramide transport and sphingomyelin synthesis. ORP9L also is localized to the ER-Golgi, but its role in secretion and lipid transport is unknown. Here we demonstrate that ORP9L partitioning between the trans-Golgi/trans-Golgi network (TGN), and the ER is mediated by a phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI-4P)-specific PH domain and VAMP-associated protein (VAP), respectively. In vitro, both OSBP and ORP9L mediated PI-4P-dependent cholesterol transport between liposomes, suggesting their primary in vivo function is sterol transfer between the Golgi and ER. Depletion of ORP9L by RNAi caused Golgi fragmentation, inhibition of vesicular somatitus virus glycoprotein transport from the ER and accumulation of cholesterol in endosomes/lysosomes. Complete cessation of protein transport and cell growth inhibition was achieved by inducible overexpression of ORP9S, a dominant negative variant lacking the PH domain. We conclude that ORP9 maintains the integrity of the early secretory pathway by mediating transport of sterols between the ER and trans-Golgi/TGN.