Regulation of the amount of ceramide-1-phosphate synthesized in differentiated human podocytes.
ABSTRACT: Sphingolipids have important functions as structural components of cells but they also function as signaling molecules regulating different cellular processes such as apoptosis, cell proliferation, cell migration, cell division and inflammation. Hence, a tight regulation of the sphingolipid homeostasis is essential to maintain proper cellular functions. Mammalian ORMDL proteins are orthologues of the yeast ORM1/2 proteins, which regulate ceramide synthesis in yeast. ORMDL proteins inhibit serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), the enzyme regulating a rate-limiting step of the sphingolipid pathway to control the levels of ceramides and other sphingolipids. Sphingomyelinase phosphodiesterase like 3b (SMPDL3b) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored protein in the plasma membrane (PM) and determines membrane fluidity in macrophages. We previously showed that differential expression of SMPDL3b alters the availability of Ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) in human podocytes, which are terminally differentiated cells of the kidney filtration barrier. This observation lead us to investigate if SMPDL3b controls C1P availability in human podocytes by interfering with ceramide kinase (CERK) expression and function. We found that SMPDL3b interacts with CERK and can bind to C1P in vitro. Furthermore, CERK expression is reduced when SMPDL3b expression is silenced. These observations led us to propose that one of the mechanisms by which SMPDL3b influences the amount of C1P available in the podocytes is by interfering with the function of CERK thereby maintaining a balance in the levels of the C1P in podocytes.
Project description:Sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase acid-like 3b (SMPDL3b) is a lipid raft enzyme that regulates plasma membrane (PM) fluidity. Here we report that SMPDL3b excess, as observed in podocytes in diabetic kidney disease (DKD), impairs insulin receptor isoform B-dependent pro-survival insulin signaling by interfering with insulin receptor isoforms binding to caveolin-1 in the PM. SMPDL3b excess affects the production of active sphingolipids resulting in decreased ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) content as observed in human podocytes in vitro and in kidney cortexes of diabetic db/db mice in vivo. Podocyte-specific Smpdl3b deficiency in db/db mice is sufficient to restore kidney cortex C1P content and to protect from DKD. Exogenous administration of C1P restores IR signaling in vitro and prevents established DKD progression in vivo. Taken together, we identify SMPDL3b as a modulator of insulin signaling and demonstrate that supplementation with exogenous C1P may represent a lipid therapeutic strategy to treat diabetic complications such as DKD.
Project description:Sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase acid-like 3b (SMPDL3b) is a lipid raft enzyme that regulates plasma membrane (PM) fluidity. Here we report that SMPDL3b excess, as observed in podocytes in diabetic kidney disease (DKD), impairs insulin receptor isoform B-dependent pro-survival insulin signaling by interfering with insulin receptor isoforms binding to caveolin-1 in PM. SMPDL3b excess affects the production of active sphingolipids resulting in decreased ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) content as observed in human podocytes in vitro and in kidney cortexes of diabetic db/db mice in vivo. Podocyte-specific Smpdl3b deficiency in db/db mice is sufficient to restore kidney cortex C1P content and to protect from DKD. Exogenous administration of C1P restores IR signaling in vitro and prevents established DKD progression in vivo. Taken together, we identified SMPDL3b as a modulator of insulin signaling and demonstrated that supplementation with exogenous C1P may represent a lipid therapeutic strategy to treat diabetic complications such as DKD.
Project description:Apart from cytokines and chemokines, sphingolipid mediators, particularly sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and ceramide 1-phosphate (C1P), contribute to cancer and inflammation. Cancer, as well as other inflammatory conditions, are associated with skeletal muscle (SkM) atrophy, which is characterized by the unbalance between protein synthesis and degradation. Although the signaling pathways involved in SkM mass wasting are multiple, the regulatory role of simple sphingolipids is limited. Here, we report the impairment of ceramide kinase (CerK), the enzyme responsible for the phosphorylation of ceramide to C1P, associated with the accomplishment of atrophic phenotype in various experimental models of SkM atrophy: in vivo animal model bearing the C26 adenocarcinoma or Lewis lung carcinoma tumors, in human and murine SkM cells treated with the conditioned medium obtained from cancer cells or with the glucocorticoid dexamethasone. Notably, we demonstrate in all the three experimental approaches a drastic decrease of CerK expression. Gene silencing of CerK promotes the up-regulation of atrogin-1/MAFbx expression, which was also observed after cell treatment with C8-ceramide, a biologically active ceramide analogue. Conversely, C1P treatment significantly reduced the corticosteroid's effects. Altogether, these findings provide evidence that CerK, acting as a molecular modulator, may be a new possible target for SkM mass regulation associated with cancer or corticosteroids.
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.
Project description:Ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid with roles in several biological processes. Currently, high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC ESI-MS/MS) offers the most efficient method of quantifying C1P. However, the published protocols have several drawbacks causing overestimations and carryovers. Here, the reported overestimation of C1P was shown to be due to incomplete neutralization of base hydrolyzed lipid extracts leading to the hydrolysis of SM to C1P. Actual quantity of C1P in cells (6 pmols/10(6) cells) was much lower than previously reported. Also, the major species of C1P produced by ceramide kinase (CERK) was found to be d(18:1/16:0) with a minority of d(18:1/24:1) and d(18:1/24:0). The artifactual production of C1P from SM was used for generating C1Ps as retention time markers. Elimination of carryovers between samples and a 2-fold enhancement in the signal strength was achieved by heating the chromatographic column to 60 (degrees) C. The role of ceramide transport protein (CERT) in supplying substrate to CERK was also revalidated using this new assay. Finally, our results demonstrate the presence of additional pathway(s) for generation of the C1P subspecies, d(18:1/18:0) C1P, as well as a significant portion of d(18:1/16:0), d(18:1/24:1), and d(18:1/24:0). In conclusion, this study introduces a much improved and validated method for detection of C1P by mass spectrometry and demonstrates specific changes in the C1P subspecies profiles upon downregulation of CERK and CERT.
Project description:Disruption of sphingolipid homeostasis and signaling has been implicated in diabetes, cancer, cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Yet, mechanisms governing cellular sensing and regulation of sphingolipid homeostasis remain largely unknown. In yeast, serine palmitoyltransferase, catalyzing the first and rate-limiting step of sphingolipid de novo biosynthesis, is negatively regulated by Orm1 and 2. Lowering sphingolipids triggers Orms phosphorylation, upregulation of serine palmitoyltransferase and sphingolipid de novo biosynthesis. However, mammalian orthologs ORMDLs lack the N-terminus hosting the phosphosites. Thus, which sphingolipid(s) are sensed by the cells, and mechanisms of homeostasis remain largely unknown. Here, we identify sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) as key sphingolipid sensed by cells via S1PRs to maintain homeostasis. The increase of S1P-S1PR signaling stabilizes ORMDLs, restraining SPT activity. Mechanistically, the hydroxylation of ORMDLs at Pro137 allows a constitutive degradation of ORMDLs via ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, preserving SPT activity. Disrupting S1PR/ORMDL axis results in ceramide accrual, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired signal transduction, all underlying endothelial dysfunction, early event in the onset of cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases. Our discovery may provide the molecular basis for therapeutic intervention restoring sphingolipid homeostasis.
Project description:Sphingolipids are membrane and bioactive lipids that are required for many aspects of normal mammalian development and physiology. However, the importance of the regulatory mechanisms that control sphingolipid levels in these processes is not well understood. The mammalian ORMDL proteins (ORMDL1, 2 and 3) mediate feedback inhibition of the de novo synthesis pathway of sphingolipids by inhibiting serine palmitoyl transferase in response to elevated ceramide levels. To understand the function of ORMDL proteins in vivo, we studied mouse knockouts (KOs) of the Ormdl genes. We found that Ormdl1 and Ormdl3 function redundantly to suppress the levels of bioactive sphingolipid metabolites during myelination of the sciatic nerve. Without proper ORMDL-mediated regulation of sphingolipid synthesis, severe dysmyelination results. Our data indicate that the Ormdls function to restrain sphingolipid metabolism in order to limit levels of dangerous metabolic intermediates that can interfere with essential physiological processes such as myelination.
Project description:Multiple reports have demonstrated a role for ceramide kinase (CERK) in the production of eicosanoids. To examine the effects of the genetic ablation of CERK on eicosanoid synthesis, primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and macrophages were isolated from CERK(-/-) and CERK(+/+) mice, and the ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) and eicosanoid profiles were investigated. Significant decreases were observed in multiple C1P subspecies in CERK-/- cells as compared to CERK(+/+) cells with overall 24% and 48% decreases in total C1P. In baseline experiments, the levels of multiple eicosanoids were significantly lower in the CERK(-/-) cells compared with wild-type cells. Importantly, induction of eicosanoid synthesis by calcium ionophore was significantly reduced in the CERK(-/-) MEFs. Our studies also demonstrate that the CERK(-/-) mouse has adapted to loss of CERK in regards to airway hyper-responsiveness as compared with CERK siRNA treatment. Overall, we demonstrate that there are significant differences in eicosanoid levels in ex vivo CERK(-/-) cells compared with wild-type counterparts, but the effect of the genetic ablation of CERK on eicosanoid synthesis and the serum levels of C1P was not apparent in vivo.
Project description:The serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) complex catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the de novo biosynthesis of ceramides, the precursors of sphingolipids. The mammalian ORMDL isoforms (ORMDL1-3) are negative regulators of SPT. However, the roles of individual ORMDL isoforms are unclear. Using siRNA against individual ORMDLs, only single siORMDL3 had modest effects on dihydroceramide and ceramide levels, whereas downregulation of all three ORMDLs induced more pronounced increases. With the CRISPR/Cas9-based genome-editing strategy, we established stable single ORMDL3 KO (ORMDL3-KO) and ORMDL1/2/3 triple-KO (ORMDL-TKO) cell lines to further understand the roles of ORMDL proteins in sphingolipid biosynthesis. While ORMDL3-KO modestly increased dihydroceramide and ceramide levels, ORMDL-TKO cells had dramatic increases in the accumulation of these sphingolipid precursors. SPT activity was increased only in ORMDL-TKO cells. In addition, ORMDL-TKO but not ORMDL3-KO dramatically increased levels of galactosylceramides, glucosylceramides, and lactosylceramides, the elevated N-acyl chain distributions of which broadly correlated with the increases in ceramide species. Surprisingly, although C16:0 is the major sphingomyelin species, it was only increased in ORMDL3-KO, whereas all other N-acyl chain sphingomyelin species were significantly increased in ORMDL-TKO cells. Analysis of sphingoid bases revealed that although sphingosine was only increased 2-fold in ORMDL-TKO cells, levels of dihydrosphingosine, dihydrosphingosine-1-phosphate, and sphingosine-1-phosphate were hugely increased in ORMDL-TKO cells and not in ORMDL3-KO cells. Thus, ORMDL proteins may have a complex, multifaceted role in the biosynthesis and regulation of cellular sphingolipids.
Project description:Sphingolipids are bioactive lipid components of cell membranes with important signal transduction functions in health and disease. Ceramide is the central building block for sphingolipid biosynthesis and is processed to form structurally and functionally distinct sphingolipids. Ceramide can be phosphorylated by ceramide kinase (CERK) to generate ceramide-1-phosphate, a cytoprotective signaling molecule that has been widely studied in multiple tissues and organs, including the developing otocyst. However, little is known about ceramide kinase regulation during inner ear development. Using chicken otocysts, we show that genes for CERK and other enzymes of ceramide metabolism are expressed during the early stages of inner ear development and that <i>CERK</i> is developmentally regulated at the otic vesicle stage. To explore its role in inner ear morphogenesis, we blocked CERK activity in organotypic cultures of otic vesicles with a specific inhibitor. Inhibition of CERK activity impaired proliferation and promoted apoptosis of epithelial otic progenitors. CERK inhibition also compromised neurogenesis of the acoustic-vestibular ganglion. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a key factor for proliferation, survival and differentiation in the chicken otocyst. CERK inhibition decreased IGF-1-induced AKT phosphorylation and blocked IGF-1-induced cell survival. Overall, our data suggest that CERK is activated as a central element in the network of anti-apoptotic pro-survival pathways elicited by IGF-1 during early inner ear development.