Accumulation of long-chain bases in yeast promotes their conversion to a long-chain base vinyl ether.
ABSTRACT: Long-chain bases (LCBs) are the precursors to ceramide and sphingolipids in eukaryotic cells. They are formed by the action of serine palmitoyl-CoA transferase (SPT), a complex of integral membrane proteins located in the endoplasmic reticulum. SPT activity is negatively regulated by Orm proteins to prevent the toxic overaccumulation of LCBs. Here we show that overaccumulation of LCBs in yeast results in their conversion to a hitherto undescribed LCB derivative, an LCB vinyl ether. The LCB vinyl ether is predominantly formed from phytosphingosine (PHS) as revealed by conversion of odd chain length tracers C17-dihydrosphingosine and C17-PHS into the corresponding LCB vinyl ether derivative. PHS vinyl ether formation depends on ongoing acetyl-CoA synthesis, and its levels are elevated when the LCB degradative pathway is blocked by deletion of the major LCB kinase, LCB4, or the LCB phosphate lyase, DPL1. PHS vinyl ether formation thus appears to constitute a shunt for the LCB phosphate- and lyase-dependent degradation of LCBs. Consistent with a role of PHS vinyl ether formation in LCB detoxification, the lipid is efficiently exported from the cells.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, sphingoid long chain bases (LCBs) such as sphingosine or phytosphingosine (PHS) behave as second messengers involved in various processes including programmed cell death (PCD). In plants, induction of PCD by LCBs has now been described, but the signalling pathway is still enigmatic. Using Arabidopsis, we identify new key steps in this pathway. We demonstrate that PHS induces activation of the calcium-dependent kinase CPK3, which phosphorylates its binding partners, the 14-3-3 proteins. This phosphorylation leads to the disruption of the complex and to CPK3 degradation. Using cpk3 knockout lines, we demonstrate that CPK3 is a positive regulator of LCB-mediated PCD. These findings establish 14-3-3-regulated CPK3 as a key component of the LCB pathway leading to PCD in plants.
Project description:Sphingolipids are essential components of the plasma membrane. Their synthesis is tightly controlled by regulatory proteins, which impinge on the rate-limiting step of the pathway, the condensation of serine and palmitoyl-CoA to long-chain base (LCB). The subsequent conversion of LCB to ceramide by ceramide synthase (CerS) is also tightly regulated, because both the accumulation of LCB as well as an excess of ceramide is toxic. Here we describe an in vivo assay to monitor the flux of LCB through the sphingolipid pathway in yeast. Cells are provided with nonnatural odd-chain sphingosine analogs, C17-dihydrosphingosine or C17-phytosphingosine (PHS), and their incorporation into ceramide and more complex sphingolipids is monitored by mass spectrometry. Incorporation of C17-PHS is time and concentration dependent, is inhibited by fumonisin B1, an inhibitor of CerS, and greatly reduced in double mutant cells lacking components of the CerS, Lac1 and Lag1. The resulting C17-ceramides are further metabolized to more complex sphingolipids, inositol phosphorylceramide and mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide), indicating that the tracer can be used to decipher the regulation of later steps of the pathway. In support of this notion, we show that mutants lacking the Orm proteins, regulators of the rate-limiting step of the pathway, display increased steady-state levels of these intermediates without affecting their rate of synthesis.
Project description:Sphingolipids are a family of eukaryotic lipids biosynthesized from sphingoid long-chain bases (LCBs). Sphingolipids are an essential class of lipids, as their depletion results in cell death. However, acute LCB supplementation is also toxic; thus, proper cellular LCB levels should be maintained. To characterize the "sphingolipid-signaling intercross," we performed a kinome screening assay in which budding yeast protein kinase-knockout strains were screened for resistance to ISP-1, a potent inhibitor of LCB biosynthesis. Here, one pair of such DIR (deletion-mediated ISP-1 resistance) genes, FPK1 and FPK2, was further characterized. Cellular LCB levels increased in the fpk1/2? strain, which was hypersensitive to phytosphingosine (PHS), a major LCB species of yeast cells. Concomitantly, this strain acquired resistance to ISP-1. Fpk1 and Fpk2 were involved in two downstream events; that is, ISP-1 uptake due to aminophospholipid flippase and LCB degradation due to LCB4 expression. RSK3, which belongs to the p90-S6K subfamily, was identified as a functional counterpart of Fpk1/2 in mammalian cells as the RSK3 gene functionally complemented the ISP-1-resistant phenotype of fpk1/2? cells.
Project description:Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has short-chain branch (SCB) and long-chain branch (LCB). In particular, the influence of the structure of LCBs on polymer properties is remarkable; however, it has been difficult to precisely analyze LCB structures. In this study, we measured the chain length of LCBs and the distance between branch points of LDPE by atomic force microscopy. Consequently, three LCBs were confirmed in a main chain of 162 nm, and their length were measured as 10, 31, and 18 nm. The positions of the LCBs were 33, 70, and 78 nm from the main-chain end.
Project description:Long-chain bases (LCBs) are both intermediates in sphingolipid metabolism and potent signaling molecules that control cellular processes. To understand how regulation of sphingolipid metabolism and levels of individual LCB species impinge upon physiological and pathophysiological processes requires sensitive and specific assays for monitoring these molecules. Here we describe a shotgun lipidomics method for quantitative profiling of LCB molecules. The method employs a "mass-tag" strategy where LCBs are chemically derivatized with deuterated methyliodide (CD3I) to produce trimethylated derivatives having a positively charged quaternary amine group. This chemical derivatization minimizes unwanted in-source fragmentation of LCB analytes and prompts a characteristic trimethylaminium fragment ion that enables sensitive and quantitative profiling of LCB molecules by parallel reaction monitoring on a hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Notably, the strategy provides, for the first time, a routine for monitoring endogenous 3-ketosphinganine molecules and distinguishing them from more abundant isomeric sphingosine molecules. To demonstrate the efficacy of the methodology we report an in-depth characterization of the LCB composition of yeast mutants with defective sphingolipid metabolism and the absolute levels of LCBs in mammalian cells. The strategy is generic, applicable to other types of mass spectrometers and can readily be applied as an additional routine in workflows for global lipidome quantification and for functional studies of sphingolipid metabolism.
Project description:Transport of dietary lipids into small-intestinal epithelial cells is pathologically and nutritionally important. However, lipid uptake remains an almost unexplored research area. Although we know that long-chain bases (LCBs), constituents of sphingolipids, can enter into cells efficiently, the molecular mechanism of LCB uptake is completely unclear. Here, we found that the yeast acyl-CoA synthetases (ACSs) Faa1 and Faa4 are redundantly involved in LCB uptake. In addition to fatty acid-activating activity, transporter activity toward long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) has been suggested for ACSs. Both LCB and LCFA transports were largely impaired in faa1? faa4? cells. Furthermore, LCB and LCFA uptakes were mutually competitive. However, the energy dependency was different for their transports. Sodium azide/2-deoxy-D-glucose treatment inhibited import of LCFA but not that of LCB. Furthermore, the ATP-AMP motif mutation FAA1 S271A largely impaired the metabolic activity and LCFA uptake, while leaving LCB import unaffected. These results indicate that only LCFA transport requires ATP. Since ACSs do not metabolize LCBs as substrates, Faa1 and Faa4 are likely directly involved in LCB transport. Furthermore, we revealed that ACSs are also involved in LCB transport in mammalian cells. Thus, our findings provide strong support for the hypothesis that ACSs directly transport LCFAs.
Project description:Sphingolipids exhibit extreme functional and chemical diversity that is in part determined by their hydrophobic moiety, ceramide. In mammals, the fatty acyl chain length variation of ceramides is determined by six (dihydro)ceramide synthase (CerS) isoforms. Previously, we and others showed that mutations in the major neuron-specific CerS1, which synthesizes 18-carbon fatty acyl (C18) ceramide, cause elevation of long-chain base (LCB) substrates and decrease in C18 ceramide and derivatives in the brain, leading to neurodegeneration in mice and myoclonus epilepsy with dementia in humans. Whether LCB elevation or C18 ceramide reduction leads to neurodegeneration is unclear. Here, we ectopically expressed CerS2, a nonneuronal CerS producing C22-C24 ceramides, in neurons of Cers1-deficient mice. Surprisingly, the Cers1 mutant pathology was almost completely suppressed. Because CerS2 cannot replenish C18 ceramide, the rescue is likely a result of LCB reduction. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that only LCBs, the substrates common for all of the CerS isoforms, but not ceramides and complex sphingolipids, were restored to the wild-type levels in the Cers2-rescued Cers1 mutant mouse brains. Furthermore, LCBs induced neurite fragmentation in cultured neurons at concentrations corresponding to the elevated levels in the CerS1-deficient brain. The strong association of LCB levels with neuronal survival both in vivo and in vitro suggests high-level accumulation of LCBs is a possible underlying cause of the CerS1 deficiency-induced neuronal death.
Project description:In plants, sphingolipids, such as long-chain bases (LCBs), act as bioactive molecules in stress responses. Until now, it is still not clear if these lipids are involved in biotic stress responses to herbivore. Herein we report that a rice LCB gene, OsLCB2a1 encoding a subunit of serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), a key enzyme responsible for the de novo biosynthesis of sphingolipids, plays a critical role in plant defense response to the brown planthopper (BPH) attack and that its up-regulation protects plants from herbivore infestation. Transcripts of OsLCB2a1 gene in rice seedlings were increased at 4 h, but decreased at 8-24 h after BPH attack. Sphingolipid measurement profiling revealed that overexpression of OsLCB2a1 in Arabidopsis thaliana increased trihydroxylated LCB phytosphingosine (t18:0) and phytoceramide by 1.7 and 1.3-fold, respectively, compared with that of wild type (WT) plants. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants also showed higher callose and wax deposition in leaves than that of WT. Overexpression of OsLCB2a1 gene in A. thaliana reduced the population size of green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Moreover, the electrical penetration graph (EPG) results indicated that the aphids encounter resistance factors while reaching for the phloem on the transgenic plants. The defense response genes related to salicylic acid signaling pathway, remained uplgulated in the OsLCB2a1-overexpressing transgenic plants. Our data highlight the key functions of OsLCB2a1 in biotic stress response in plants.
Project description:Sphingolipids (SLs) are structurally diverse lipids that are defined by the presence of a long-chain base (LCB) backbone. Typically, LCBs contain a single ?4E double bond (DB) (mostly d18:1), whereas the dienic LCB sphingadienine (d18:2) contains a second DB at the ?14Z position. The enzyme introducing the ?14Z DB is unknown. We analyzed the LCB plasma profile in a gender-, age-, and BMI-matched subgroup of the CoLaus cohort (n = 658). Sphingadienine levels showed a significant association with gender, being on average ?30% higher in females. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed variants in the fatty acid desaturase 3 (FADS3) gene to be significantly associated with the plasma d18:2/d18:1 ratio (p = -log 7.9). Metabolic labeling assays, FADS3 overexpression and knockdown approaches, and plasma LCB profiling in FADS3-deficient mice confirmed that FADS3 is a bona fide LCB desaturase and required for the introduction of the ?14Z double bond. Moreover, we showed that FADS3 is required for the conversion of the atypical cytotoxic 1-deoxysphinganine (1-deoxySA, m18:0) to 1-deoxysphingosine (1-deoxySO, m18:1). HEK293 cells overexpressing FADS3 were more resistant to m18:0 toxicity than WT cells. In summary, using a combination of metabolic profiling and GWAS, we identified FADS3 to be essential for forming ?14Z DB containing LCBs, such as d18:2 and m18:1. Our results unravel FADS3 as a ?14Z LCB desaturase, thereby disclosing the last missing enzyme of the SL de novo synthesis pathway.
Project description:Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric illness affecting ?1% of the world population. Valproate (VPA) and lithium, widely used for the treatment of BD, are not universally effective. These drugs have been shown to cause inositol depletion, but translating this observation to a specific therapeutic mechanism has been difficult, hampering the development of more effective therapies. We have shown previously in yeast that chronic VPA treatment induces the unfolded protein response due to increasing ceramide levels. To gain insight into the mechanisms activated during acute VPA treatment, we performed a genome-wide expression study in yeast treated with VPA for 30 min. We observed increased mRNA and protein levels of RSB1, which encodes an exporter of long chain bases dihydrosphingosine (DHS) and phytosphingosine (PHS), and further saw that VPA increased sensitivity of an rsb1? mutant to PHS, suggesting that VPA increases long chain base levels. Consistent with this, PHS levels were elevated in wild type and, to a greater extent, in rsb1? cells. Expression of ORM genes (negative regulators of PHS synthesis) and of fatty acid elongase genes FEN1 and SUR4 were decreased, and expression of YOR1 (exporter of PHS-1P) and DPL1 (lyase that degrades DHS-1P and PHS-1P) was increased. These effects were more pronounced in medium lacking inositol, and were mirrored by inositol starvation of an ino1? mutant. These findings provide a metabolic explanation as to how VPA-mediated inositol depletion causes increased synthesis of PHS and further support the therapeutic relevance of inositol depletion as a bipolar disorder treatment.