Niemann-Pick C variant detection by altered sphingolipid trafficking and correlation with mutations within a specific domain of NPC1.
ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a fatal, autosomal recessive lipidosis characterized by lysosomal accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and multiple neurological symptoms, such as vertical supranuclear ophthalmoplegia, progressive ataxia, and dementia. More than 90% of cases of NPC are due to a defect in Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1), a late endosomal, integral membrane protein that plays a role in cholesterol transport or homeostasis. Biochemical diagnosis of NPC has relied on the use of patient skin fibroblasts in an assay to demonstrate delayed low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-derived cholesterol esterification and a cytological technique-filipin staining-to demonstrate the intracellular accumulation of cholesterol. A small percentage of patients, referred to as "NPC variants," present with clinical symptoms of NPC but show near-normal results of these biochemical tests, making laboratory confirmation of NPC disease problematic. Here, we demonstrate that NPC-variant fibroblast samples can be detected as sphingolipid storage disease cells, using a fluorescent sphingolipid analog, BODIPY-lactosylceramide. This lipid accumulated in endosomes/lysosomes in variant cells preincubated with LDL cholesterol but targeted to the Golgi complex in normal cells under these conditions. The reproducibility of this technique was validated in a blinded study. In addition, we performed mutation analysis of the NPC1 gene in NPC variant and "classical" NPC cell samples and found a high incidence of specific mutations within the cysteine-rich region of NPC1 in variants. We also found that 5 of the 12 variant cell samples had no apparent defect in NPC1 but were otherwise indistinguishable from other variant cells. This is a surprising result, since, in general, approximately 90% of patients with NPC possess defects in NPC1. Our findings should be useful for the detection of NPC variants and also may provide significant new insight regarding NPC1 genotype/phenotype correlations.
Project description:Export of LDL-derived cholesterol from lysosomes requires the cooperation of the integral membrane protein Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) and a soluble protein, Niemann-Pick C2 (NPC2). Mutations in the genes encoding these proteins lead to Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC). NPC2 binds to NPC1's second (middle), lumenally oriented domain (MLD) and transfers cholesterol to NPC1's N-terminal domain (NTD). Here, we report the 2.4-Å resolution crystal structure of a complex of human NPC1-MLD and NPC2 bearing bound cholesterol-3-O-sulfate. NPC1-MLD uses two protruding loops to bind NPC2, analogous to its interaction with the primed Ebola virus glycoprotein. Docking of the NPC1-NPC2 complex onto the full-length NPC1 structure reveals a direct cholesterol transfer tunnel between NPC2 and NTD cholesterol binding pockets, supporting the "hydrophobic hand-off" cholesterol transfer model.
Project description:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) lyase irreversibly cleaves S1P, thereby catalysing the ultimate step of sphingolipid degradation. We show here that embryonic fibroblasts from S1P lyase-deficient mice (Sgpl1-/--MEFs), in which S1P and sphingosine accumulate, have features of Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) cells. In the presence of serum, overall cholesterol content was elevated in Sgpl1-/--MEFs, due to upregulation of the LDL receptor and enhanced cholesterol uptake. Despite this, activation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 was increased in Sgpl1-/--MEFs, indicating a local lack of cholesterol at the ER. Indeed, free cholesterol was retained in NPC1-containing vesicles, which is a hallmark of NPC. Furthermore, upregulation of amyloid precursor protein in Sgpl1-/--MEFs was mimicked by an NPC1 inhibitor in Sgpl1+/+-MEFs and reduced by overexpression of NPC1. Lysosomal pH was not altered by S1P lyase deficiency, similar to NPC. Interestingly, lysosomal Ca2+ content and bafilomycin A1-induced [Ca2+]i increases were enhanced in Sgpl1-/--MEFs, contrary to NPC. These results show that both a primary defect in cholesterol trafficking and S1P lyase deficiency cause overlapping phenotypic alterations, and challenge the present view on the role of sphingosine in lysosomal Ca2+ homeostasis.
Project description: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.
Project description:Niemann-Pick C (NPC) disease is due to loss of NPC1 or NPC2 protein function that is required for unesterified cholesterol transport from the endosomal/lysosomal compartment. Though lung involvement is a recognized characteristic of Niemann-Pick type C disease, the pathological features are not well understood. We investigated components of the surfactant system in both NPC1 mutant mice and felines and in NPC2 mutant mice near the end of their expected life span. Histological analysis of the NPC mutant mice demonstrated thickened septae and foamy macrophages/leukocytes. At the level of electron microscopy, NPC1-mutant type II cells had uncharacteristically larger lamellar bodies (LB, mean area 2-fold larger), while NPC2-mutant cells had predominantly smaller lamellar bodies (mean area 50% of normal) than wild type. Bronchoalveolar lavage from NPC1 and NPC2 mutant mice had an approx. 4-fold and 2.5-fold enrichment in phospholipid, respectively, and an approx. 9-fold and 35-fold enrichment in cholesterol, consistent with alveolar lipidosis. Phospholipid and cholesterol also were elevated in type II cell LBs and lung tissue while phospholipid degradation was reduced. Enrichment of surfactant protein-A in the lung and surfactant of the mutant mice was found. Immunocytochemical results showed that cholesterol accumulated in the LBs of the type II cells isolated from the affected mice. Alveolar macrophages from the NPC1 and NPC2 mutant mice were enlarged compared to those from wild type mice and were enriched in phospholipid and cholesterol. Pulmonary features of NPC1 mutant felines reflected the disease described in NPC1 mutant mice. Thus, with the exception of lamellar body size, the lung phenotype seen in the NPC1 and NPC2 mutant mice were similar. The lack of NPC1 and NPC2 proteins resulted in a disruption of the type II cell surfactant system contributing to pulmonary abnormalities.
Project description:NPC (Niemann-Pick type C) disease is a rare lipidosis characterized by the accumulation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein)-derived non-esterified cholesterol in the E/L (endosomal/lysosomal) system. The gene products that are responsible for the two NPC complementation groups are distinct and dissimilar, yet their cellular and disease phenotypes are virtually indistinguishable. To investigate the relationship between NPC1 and NPC2 and their potential role in NPC disease pathogenesis, we have developed a method for the rapid and efficient isolation of late endocytic vesicles from mouse liver by magnetic chromatography. Late endosomes from Wt (wild-type) and NPC1 mice were found to differ not only in their cholesterol and sphingomyelin content, as expected, but also in their non-esterified ('free') fatty acid content, with NPC1 vesicles showing an approx. 7-fold increase in non-esterified fatty acid levels compared with Wt vesicles. Furthermore, we show that the NPC2 protein is in an incompletely deglycosylated form in NPC1 late endosomes by a mechanism that is specific to the NPC2 protein and not a global aberration of protein glycosylation/deglycosylation or trafficking, since NPC2 secreted from NPC1 cells is indistinguishable from that secreted from Wt cells. Also, a greater proportion of the normally soluble cellular NPC2 protein partitions with detergent-insoluble late endosomal internal membrane domains in NPC1 vesicles. In addition, we show that, although a small amount of the NPC2 protein associates with these membranes in Wt vesicles, this localization becomes much more pronounced in NPC1 vesicles. These results suggest that the function of the NPC2 protein may be compromised as well in NPC1 endosomes, which might explain the paradoxical phenotypic similarities of the two NPC disease complementation groups.
Project description:A five-step synthesis of an array of N-aryl-3-alkylidenepyrrolinones, which are potential Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease therapeutics, is described. The synthetic route allows for the production of analogues, including photoaffinity and biotinylated derivatives. Compound 1a increased esterification by acyl-coenzyme A:cholesteryl acyltransferase in NPC1 mutant cells. It also decreased LDL uptake and increased cholesterol efflux in both NPC1-deficient and normal cells.
Project description:Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) and NPC2 proteins are indispensable for the export of LDL-derived cholesterol from late endosomes. Mutations in these proteins result in Niemann-Pick type C disease, a lysosomal storage disease. Despite recent reports of the NPC1 structure depicting its overall architecture, the function of its C-terminal luminal domain (CTD) remains poorly understood even though 45% of NPC disease-causing mutations are in this domain. Here, we report a crystal structure at 3.3 Å resolution of NPC1* (residues 314-1,278), which-in contrast to previous lower resolution structures-features the entire CTD well resolved. Notably, all eight cysteines of the CTD form four disulfide bonds, one of which (C909-C914) enforces a specific loop that in turn mediates an interaction with a loop of the N-terminal domain (NTD). Importantly, this loop and its interaction with the NTD were not observed in any previous structures due to the lower resolution. Our mutagenesis experiments highlight the physiological relevance of the CTD-NTD interaction, which might function to keep the NTD in the proper orientation for receiving cholesterol from NPC2. Additionally, this structure allows us to more precisely map all of the disease-causing mutations, allowing future molecular insights into the pathogenesis of NPC disease.
Project description:Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is caused by mutations in NPC1 or NPC2, which coordinate egress of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol from late endosomes. We previously reported that the adenovirus-encoded protein RID? rescues the cholesterol storage phenotype in NPC1-mutant fibroblasts. We show here that RID? reconstitutes deficient endosome-to-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transport, allowing excess LDL-cholesterol to be esterified by acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase and stored in lipid droplets (LDs) in NPC1-deficient cells. Furthermore, the RID? pathway is regulated by the oxysterol-binding protein ORP1L. Studies have classified ORP1L as a sterol sensor involved in LE positioning downstream of GTP-Rab7. Our data, however, suggest that ORP1L may play a role in transport of LDL-cholesterol to a specific ER pool designated for LD formation. In contrast to NPC1, which is dispensable, the RID?/ORP1L-dependent route requires functional NPC2. Although NPC1/NPC2 constitutes the major pathway, therapies that amplify minor egress routes for LDL-cholesterol could significantly improve clinical management of patients with loss-of-function NPC1 mutations. The molecular identity of putative alternative pathways, however, is poorly characterized. We propose RID? as a model system for understanding physiological egress routes that use ORP1L to activate ER feedback responses involved in LD formation.
Project description:The drug 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HP?CD) reduces lysosomal cholesterol accumulation in Niemann-Pick disease, type C (NPC) and has been advanced to human clinical trials. However, its mechanism of action for reducing cholesterol accumulation in NPC cells is uncertain and its molecular target is unknown. We found that methyl-?-cyclodextrin (M?CD), a potent analog of HP?CD, restored impaired macroautophagy/autophagy flux in Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1) cells. This effect was mediated by a direct activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an upstream kinase in the autophagy pathway, through M?CD binding to its ?-subunits. Knockdown of PRKAB1 or PRKAB2 (encoding the AMPK ?1 or ?2 subunit) expression and an AMPK inhibitor abolished M?CD-mediated reduction of cholesterol storage in NPC1 cells. The results demonstrate that AMPK is the molecular target of M?CD and its activation enhances autophagy flux, thereby mitigating cholesterol accumulation in NPC1 cells. The results identify AMPK as an attractive target for drug development to treat NPC.
Project description:A central feature of Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease is sequestration of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids in lysosomes. A large phenotypic variability, on both a clinical as well as a molecular level, challenges NPC diagnosis. For example, substantial difficulties in identifying or excluding NPC in a patient exist in cases with a "variant" biochemical phenotype, where cholesterol levels in cultured fibroblasts, the primary diagnostic indicator, are only moderately elevated. Here we apply quantitative microscopy as an accurate and objective diagnostic tool to measure cholesterol accumulation at the level of single cells. When employed to characterize cholesterol enrichment in fibroblasts from 20 NPC patients and 11 controls, considerable heterogeneity became evident both within the population of cells cultured from one individual as well as between samples from different probands. An obvious correlation between biochemical phenotype and clinical disease course was not apparent from our dataset. However, plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol (HDL-c) tended to be in the normal range in patients with a "variant" as opposed to a "classic" biochemical phenotype. Attenuated lysosomal cholesterol accumulation in "variant" cells was associated with detectable NPC1 protein and residual capability to upregulate expression of ABCA1 in response to LDL. Taken together, our approach opens perspectives not only to support diagnosis, but also to better characterize mechanisms impacting cholesterol accumulation in NPC patient-derived cells.