Integration of lipidomics and transcriptomics data towards a systems biology model of sphingolipid metabolism.
ABSTRACT: Sphingolipids play important roles in cell structure and function as well as in the pathophysiology of many diseases. Many of the intermediates of sphingolipid biosynthesis are highly bioactive and sometimes have antagonistic activities, for example, ceramide promotes apoptosis whereas sphingosine-1-phosphate can inhibit apoptosis and induce cell growth; therefore, quantification of the metabolites and modeling of the sphingolipid network is imperative for an understanding of sphingolipid biology.In this direction, the LIPID MAPS Consortium is developing methods to quantitate the sphingolipid metabolites in mammalian cells and is investigating their application to studies of the activation of the RAW264.7 macrophage cell by a chemically defined endotoxin, Kdo2-Lipid A. Herein, we describe a model for the C16-branch of sphingolipid metabolism (i.e., for ceramides with palmitate as the N-acyl-linked fatty acid, which is selected because it is a major subspecies for all categories of complex sphingolipids in RAW264.7 cells) integrating lipidomics and transcriptomics data and using a two-step matrix-based approach to estimate the rate constants from experimental data. The rate constants obtained from the first step are further refined using generalized constrained nonlinear optimization. The resulting model fits the experimental data for all species. The robustness of the model is validated through parametric sensitivity analysis.A quantitative model of the sphigolipid pathway is developed by integrating metabolomics and transcriptomics data with legacy knowledge. The model could be used to design experimental studies of how genetic and pharmacological perturbations alter the flux through this important lipid biosynthetic pathway.
Project description:Activation of RAW264.7 cells with a lipopolysaccharide specific for the TLR4 receptor, Kdo(2)-lipid A (KLA), causes a large increase in cellular sphingolipids, from 1.5 to 2.6 × 10(9) molecules per cell in 24 h, based on the sum of subspecies analyzed by "lipidomic" mass spectrometry. Thus, this study asked the following question. What is the cause of this increase and is there a cell function connected with it? The sphingolipids arise primarily from de novo biosynthesis based on [U-(13)C]palmitate labeling, inhibition by ISP1 (myriocin), and an apparent induction of many steps of the pathway (according to the distribution of metabolites and microarray analysis), with the exception of ceramide, which is also produced from pre-existing sources. Nonetheless, the activated RAW264.7 cells have a higher number of sphingolipids per cell because KLA inhibits cell division; thus, the cells are larger and contain increased numbers of membrane vacuoles termed autophagosomes, which were detected by the protein marker GFP-LC3. Indeed, de novo biosynthesis of sphingolipids performs an essential structural and/or signaling function in autophagy because autophagosome formation was eliminated by ISP1 in KLA-stimulated RAW264.7 cells (and mutation of serine palmitoyltransferase in CHO-LYB cells); furthermore, an anti-ceramide antibody co-localizes with autophagosomes in activated RAW264.7 cells versus the Golgi in unstimulated or ISP1-inhibited cells. These findings establish that KLA induces profound changes in sphingolipid metabolism and content in this macrophage-like cell line, apparently to produce sphingolipids that are necessary for formation of autophagosomes, which are thought to play important roles in the mechanisms of innate immunity.
Project description:We show that highly efficient depletion of sphingolipids in two different cell lines does not abrogate the ability to isolate Lubrol-based DRMs (detergent-resistant membranes) or detergent-free lipid rafts from these cells. Compared with control, DRM/detergent-free lipid raft fractions contain equal amounts of protein, cholesterol and phospholipid, whereas the classical DRM/lipid raft markers Src, caveolin-1 and flotillin display the same gradient distribution. DRMs/detergent-free lipid rafts themselves are severely depleted of sphingolipids. The fatty acid profile of the remaining sphingolipids as well as that of the glycerophospholipids shows several differences compared with control, most prominently an increase in highly saturated C(16) species. The glycerophospholipid headgroup composition is unchanged in sphingolipid-depleted cells and cell-derived detergent-free lipid rafts. Sphingolipid depletion does not alter the localization of MRP1 (multidrug-resistance-related protein 1) in DRMs/detergent-free lipid rafts or MRP1-mediated efflux of carboxyfluorescein. We conclude that extensive sphingolipid depletion does not affect lipid raft integrity in two cell lines and does not affect the function of the lipid-raft-associated protein MRP1.
Project description:Sphingolipids are membrane lipids globally required for eukaryotic life. The sphingolipid content varies among endomembranes with pre- and post-Golgi compartments being poor and rich in sphingolipids, respectively. Due to this different sphingolipid content, pre- and post-Golgi membranes serve different cellular functions. The basis for maintaining distinct subcellular sphingolipid levels in the presence of membrane trafficking and metabolic fluxes is only partially understood. Here, we describe a homeostatic regulatory circuit that controls sphingolipid levels at the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Specifically, we show that sphingomyelin production at the TGN triggers a signalling pathway leading to PtdIns(4)P dephosphorylation. Since PtdIns(4)P is required for cholesterol and sphingolipid transport to the trans-Golgi network, PtdIns(4)P consumption interrupts this transport in response to excessive sphingomyelin production. Based on this evidence, we envisage a model where this homeostatic circuit maintains a constant lipid composition in the trans-Golgi network and post-Golgi compartments, thus counteracting fluctuations in the sphingolipid biosynthetic flow.
Project description:Sphingolipids and their phosphorylated derivatives are ubiquitous bio-active components of cells. They are structural elements in the lipid bilayer and contribute to the dynamic nature of the membrane. They have been implicated in many cellular processes in yeast and animal cells, including aspects of signaling, apoptosis, and senescence. Although sphingolipids have a better defined role in animal systems, they have been shown to be central to many essential processes in plants including but not limited to, pollen development, signal transduction and in the response to biotic and abiotic stress. A fuller understanding of the roles of sphingolipids within plants has been facilitated by classical biochemical studies and the identification of mutants of model species. Recently the development of powerful mass spectrometry techniques hailed the advent of the emerging field of lipidomics enabling more accurate sphingolipid detection and quantitation. This review will consider plant sphingolipid biosynthesis and function in the context of these new developments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner.
Project description:Sphingolipids represent a class of bioactive lipids that modulate the biophysical properties of biological membranes and play a critical role in cell signal transduction. Multiple studies have demonstrated that sphingolipids control crucial cellular functions such as the cell cycle, senescence, autophagy, apoptosis, cell migration, and inflammation. Sphingolipid metabolism is highly compartmentalized within the subcellular locations. However, the majority of steps of sphingolipids metabolism occur in lysosomes. Altered sphingolipid metabolism with an accumulation of undigested substrates in lysosomes due to lysosomal enzyme deficiency is linked to lysosomal storage disorders (LSD). Trapping of sphingolipids and their metabolites in the lysosomes inhibits lipid recycling, which has a direct effect on the lipid composition of cellular membranes, including the inner mitochondrial membrane. Additionally, lysosomes are not only the house of digestive enzymes, but are also responsible for trafficking organelles, sensing nutrients, and repairing mitochondria. However, lysosomal abnormalities lead to alteration of autophagy and disturb the energy balance and mitochondrial function. In this review, an overview of mitochondrial function in cells with altered sphingolipid metabolism will be discussed focusing on the two most common sphingolipid disorders, Gaucher and Fabry diseases. The review highlights the status of mitochondrial energy metabolism and the regulation of mitochondria-autophagy-lysosome crosstalk.
Project description:Sphingolipids constitute a heterogeneous lipid category that is involved in many key cellular functions. For high-throughput analyses of sphingolipids, tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is the method of choice, offering sufficient sensitivity, structural information, and quantitative precision for detecting hundreds to thousands of species simultaneously. While glycerolipids and phospholipids are predominantly non-hydroxylated, sphingolipids are typically dihydroxylated. However, species containing one or three hydroxylation sites can be detected frequently. This variability in the number of hydroxylation sites on the sphingolipid long-chain base and the fatty acyl moiety produces many more isobaric species and fragments than for other lipid categories. Due to this complexity, the automated annotation of sphingolipid species is challenging, and incorrect annotations are common. In this study, we present an extension of the Lipid Data Analyzer (LDA) "decision rule set" concept that considers the structural characteristics that are specific for this lipid category. To address the challenges inherent to automated annotation of sphingolipid structures from MS/MS data, we first developed decision rule sets using spectra from authentic standards and then tested the applicability on biological samples including murine brain and human plasma. A benchmark test based on the murine brain samples revealed a highly improved annotation quality as measured by sensitivity and reliability. The results of this benchmark test combined with the easy extensibility of the software to other (sphingo)lipid classes and the capability to detect and correctly annotate novel sphingolipid species make LDA broadly applicable to automated sphingolipid analysis, especially in high-throughput settings.
Project description:Therapy of colorectal cancer (CRC), especially a subset known as locally advanced rectal cancer, is challenged by progression and recurrence. Sphingolipids, a lipid subtype with vital roles in cellular function, play an important role in CRC and impact on therapeutic outcomes. In this review we discuss how dietary sphingolipids or the gut microbiome via alterations in sphingolipids influence CRC carcinogenesis. In addition, we discuss the expression of sphingolipid enzymes in the gastro-intestinal tract, their alterations in CRC, and the implications for therapy responsiveness. Lastly, we highlight some novel therapeutics that target sphingolipid signaling and have potential applications in the treatment of CRC. Understanding how sphingolipid metabolism impacts cell death susceptibility and drug resistance will be critical toward improving therapeutic outcomes.
Project description:Sphingolipids are structurally diverse and their metabolic pathways highly complex, which makes it difficult to follow all of the subspecies in a biological system, even using "lipidomic" approaches. This report describes a method to use transcriptomic data to visualize and predict potential differences in sphingolipid composition, and it illustrates its use with published data for cancer cell lines and tumors. In addition, several novel sphingolipids that were predicted to differ between MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells based on published microarray data for these breast cancer cell lines were confirmed by mass spectrometry. For the data that we were able to find for these comparisons, there was a significant match between the gene expression data and sphingolipid composition (P < 0.001 by Fisher's exact test). Upon considering the large number of gene expression datasets produced in recent years, this simple integration of two types of "omic" technologies ("transcriptomics" to direct "sphingolipidomics") might facilitate the discovery of useful relationships between sphingolipid metabolism and disease, such as the identification of new biomarkers.
Project description:Sterols and sphingolipids are limited to eukaryotic cells, and their interaction has been proposed to favor formation of lipid microdomains. Although there is abundant biophysical evidence demonstrating their interaction in simple systems, convincing evidence is lacking to show that they function together in cells. Using lipid analysis by mass spectrometry and a genetic approach on mutants in sterol metabolism, we show that cells adjust their membrane composition in response to mutant sterol structures preferentially by changing their sphingolipid composition. Systematic combination of mutations in sterol biosynthesis with mutants in sphingolipid hydroxylation and head group turnover give a large number of synthetic and suppression phenotypes. Our unbiased approach provides compelling evidence that sterols and sphingolipids function together in cells. We were not able to correlate any cellular phenotype we measured with plasma membrane fluidity as measured using fluorescence anisotropy. This questions whether the increase in liquid order phases that can be induced by sterol-sphingolipid interactions plays an important role in cells. Our data revealing that cells have a mechanism to sense the quality of their membrane sterol composition has led us to suggest that proteins might recognize sterol-sphingolipid complexes and to hypothesize the coevolution of sterols and sphingolipids.
Project description:Sphingolipids are components of the lipid rafts in plasma membranes, which are important for proper function of podocytes, a key element of the glomerular filtration barrier. Research revealed an essential role of sphingolipids and sphingolipid metabolites in glomerular disorders of genetic and non-genetic origin. The discovery that glucocerebrosides accumulate in Gaucher disease in glomerular cells and are associated with clinical proteinuria initiated intensive research into the function of other sphingolipids in glomerular disorders. The accumulation of sphingolipids in other genetic diseases including Tay-Sachs, Sandhoff, Fabry, hereditary inclusion body myopathy 2, Niemann-Pick, and nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type and its implications with respect to glomerular pathology will be discussed. Similarly, sphingolipid accumulation occurs in glomerular diseases of non-genetic origin including diabetic kidney disease (DKD), HIV-associated nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and lupus nephritis. Sphingomyelin metabolites, such as ceramide, sphingosine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate have also gained tremendous interest. We recently described that sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase acid-like 3b (SMPDL3b) is expressed in podocytes where it modulates acid sphingomyelinase activity and acts as a master modulator of danger signaling. Decreased SMPDL3b expression in post-reperfusion kidney biopsies from transplant recipients with idiopathic FSGS correlates with the recurrence of proteinuria in patients and in experimental models of xenotransplantation. Increased SMPDL3b expression is associated with DKD. The consequences of differential SMPDL3b expression in podocytes in these diseases with respect to their pathogenesis will be discussed. Finally, the role of sphingolipids in the formation of lipid rafts in podocytes and their contribution to the maintenance of a functional slit diaphragm in the glomerulus will be discussed.