Regular Research Articles
1-Deoxysphingolipid synthesis compromises anchorage-independent growth and plasma membrane endocytosis in cancer cellsSerine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) predominantly incorporates serine and fatty acyl-CoAs into diverse sphingolipids (SLs) that serve as structural components of membranes and signaling molecules within or amongst cells. However, SPT also uses alanine as a substrate in the contexts of low serine availability, alanine accumulation, or disease-causing mutations in hereditary sensory neuropathy type I, resulting in the synthesis and accumulation of 1-deoxysphingolipids (deoxySLs). These species promote cytotoxicity in neurons and impact diverse cellular phenotypes, including suppression of anchorage-independent cancer cell growth.
Hepatocytes Deficient in Nuclear Envelope Protein Lamina-associated Polypeptide 1 are an Ideal Mammalian System to Study Intranuclear Lipid DropletsLipid droplets (LDs) are generally considered to be synthesized in the ER and utilized in the cytoplasm. However, LDs have been observed inside nuclei in some cells, although recent research on nuclear LDs has focused on cultured cell lines. To better understand nuclear LDs that occur in vivo, here we examined LDs in primary hepatocytes from mice following depletion of the nuclear envelope protein lamina-associated polypeptide 1 (LAP1). Microscopic image analysis showed that LAP1-depleted hepatocytes contain frequent nuclear LDs, which differ from cytoplasmic LDs in their associated proteins.
ER Stress-Induced Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Lyase Phosphorylation Potentiates the Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein ResponseThe unfolded protein response (UPR) is an elaborate signaling network that evolved to maintain proteostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria (mt). These organelles are functionally and physically associated, and consequently, their stress responses are often intertwined. It is unclear how these two adaptive stress responses are coordinated during ER stress. The inositol-requiring enzyme-1 (IRE1), a central ER stress sensor and proximal regulator of the UPRER, harbors dual kinase and endoribonuclease (RNase) activities.
Characterization of long-chain fatty acid-linked bile acids: a major conjugation form of 3β-hydroxy bile acids in fecesAlthough most bile acids (BAs) in feces are present in noncovalent forms that can be extracted with ethanol, non-negligible amounts of saponifiable BAs are also present. It is a major concern that such saponifiable BAs are routinely omitted from fecal BA measurements. We compared the BA profiles of healthy stools that were obtained with/without alkaline hydrolysis and found that as much as 29.7% (2.1–67.7%) of total BAs were saponifiable. Specifically, alkaline treatment led to significant elevations of isodeoxycholic acid (isoDCA) and isolithocholic acid (isoLCA) concentrations, suggesting that considerable proportions of isoDCA and isoLCA were esterified.
RGMa promotes dedifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells into a macrophage-like phenotype in vivo and in vitroRepulsive guidance molecule a (RGMa) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein that has been demonstrated to influence inflammatory-related diseases in addition to regulating neuronal differentiation and survival during brain development. However, any function or mechanism of RGMa in dedifferentiation of contractile vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) during inflammatory-related atherosclerosis is poorly understood. In the current study, we found that RGMa is expressed in VSMCs-derived macrophage-like cells from the fibrous cap of type V atherosclerotic plaques and the neointima of ligated carotid artery in ApoE−/− mice.
Liposomes trigger bone marrow niche macrophage “foam” cell formation and affect hematopoiesis in miceLiposomes are the most widely used nanocarrier platform for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents, and a number of liposomes have been approved for use in clinical practice. After systemic administration, most liposomes are cleared by macrophages in the mononuclear phagocyte system, such as the liver and bone marrow (BM). However, the majority of studies have focused on investigating the therapeutic results of liposomal drugs, and too few studies have evaluated the potential side effects of empty nanocarriers on the functions of macrophages in the mononuclear phagocyte system.
PCSK9 is minimally associated with HDL but impairs the anti-atherosclerotic HDL effects on endothelial cell activationProprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) regulates the cell-surface localization of LDL receptors in hepatocytes and is associated with LDL and lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] uptake, reducing blood concentrations. However, the connection between PCSK9 and HDL is unclear. Here, we investigated the association of plasma PCSK9 with HDL subpopulations and examined the effects of PCSK9 on the atheroprotective function of HDL. We examined the association of PCSK9 with HDL in apoB-depleted plasma by ELISA, native PAGE, and immunoblotting.
Identification and characterization of LPLAT7 as an sn-1-specific lysophospholipid acyltransferaseThe main fatty acids at the sn-1 position of phospholipids (PLs) are saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0), and oleic acid (C18:1) and are constantly replaced, like unsaturated fatty acids at the sn-2 position. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying the replacement of fatty acids at the sn-1 position, i.e., the sn-1 remodeling. Previously, we established a method to evaluate the incorporation of fatty acids into the sn-1 position of lysophospholipids (lyso-PLs).
Associations between insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 and lipoprotein kinetics in menLow circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) have been associated with dyslipidemia, notably with high triglyceride (TG) levels. However, the determinants by which IGFBP-2 influences lipoprotein metabolism, especially that of TG-rich lipoproteins (TRLs), are poorly understood. Here, we aimed to assess the relationships between IGFBP-2 levels and lipoprotein production and catabolism in human subjects. Fasting IGFBP-2 concentrations were measured in the plasma of 219 men pooled from previous lipoprotein kinetics studies.
Serum dihydroceramides correlate with insulin sensitivity in humans and decrease insulin sensitivity in vitroSerum ceramides, especially C16:0 and C18:0 species, are linked to CVD risk and insulin resistance, but details of this association are not well understood. We performed this study to quantify a broad range of serum sphingolipids in individuals spanning the physiologic range of insulin sensitivity and to determine if dihydroceramides cause insulin resistance in vitro. As expected, we found that serum triglycerides were significantly greater in individuals with obesity and T2D compared with athletes and lean individuals.
Acute retinol mobilization by retinol-binding protein 4 in mouse liver induces fibroblast growth factor 21 expressionHepatocytes secrete retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) into circulation, thereby mobilizing vitamin A from the liver to provide retinol for extrahepatic tissues. Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with elevated RBP4 levels in the blood. However, in a previous study, we observed that chronically increased RBP4 by forced Rbp4 expression in the liver does not impair glucose homeostasis in mice. Here, we investigated the effects of an acute mobilization of hepatic vitamin A stores by hepatic overexpression of RBP4 in mice.
Obesity reprograms the pulmonary polyunsaturated fatty acid-derived lipidome, transcriptome, and gene-oxylipin networksObesity exacerbates inflammation upon lung injury; however, the mechanisms by which obesity primes pulmonary dysregulation prior to external injury are not well studied. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that obesity dysregulates pulmonary PUFA metabolism that is central to inflammation initiation and resolution. We first show that a high-fat diet (HFD) administered to C57BL/6J mice increased the relative abundance of pulmonary PUFA-containing triglycerides and the concentration of PUFA-derived oxylipins (particularly prostaglandins and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids), independent of an increase in total pulmonary PUFAs, prior to onset of pulmonary inflammation.
Individual and simultaneous treatment with antipsychotic aripiprazole and antidepressant trazodone inhibit sterol biosynthesis in the adult brainPolypharmacy, or the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single patient, is a common practice in psychiatry. Unfortunately, data on the health effects of commonly used combinations of medications are very limited. In this study, we therefore investigated the effects and interactions between two commonly prescribed psychotropic medications with sterol inhibiting side effects, trazodone (TRZ), an antidepressant, and aripiprazole (ARI), an antipsychotic. In vitro cell culture experiments revealed that both medications alone disrupted neuronal and astroglial sterol biosynthesis in dose-dependent manners.
Differential expression patterns of phospholipase D isoforms 1 and 2 in the mammalian brain and retinaPhosphatidic acid is a key signaling molecule heavily implicated in exocytosis due to its protein-binding partners and propensity to induce negative membrane curvature. One phosphatidic acid-producing enzyme, phospholipase D (PLD), has also been implicated in neurotransmission. Unfortunately, due to the unreliability of reagents, there has been confusion in the literature regarding the expression of PLD isoforms in the mammalian brain which has hampered our understanding of their functional roles in neurons.
The small GTPase RAB10 regulates endosomal recycling of the LDL receptor and transferrin receptor in hepatocytesThe low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) mediates the hepatic uptake of circulating low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), a process that modulates the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. We recently identified RAB10, encoding a small GTPase, as a positive regulator of LDL uptake in hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HuH7) in a genome-wide CRISPR screen, though the underlying molecular mechanism for this effect was unknown. We now report that RAB10 regulates hepatocyte LDL uptake by promoting the recycling of endocytosed LDLR from RAB11-positive endosomes to the plasma membrane.
10,12-Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation improves HDL composition and function in miceObesity is associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, which are major risk factors for CVD. One dietary component of ruminant animal foods, 10,12-conjugated linoleic acid (10,12 CLA), has been shown to promote weight loss in humans. Previous work has shown that 10,12 CLA is atheroprotective in mice by a mechanism that may be distinct from its weight loss effects, but this exact mechanism is unclear. To investigate this, we evaluated HDL composition and function in obese LDL receptor (Ldlr−/−) mice that were losing weight because of 10,12 CLA supplementation or caloric restriction (CR; weight-matched control group) and in an obese control group consuming a high-fat high-sucrose diet.
Inhibition of MAP4K4 signaling initiates metabolic reprogramming to protect hepatocytes from lipotoxic damageThe primary hepatic consequence of obesity is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), affecting about 25% of the global adult population. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a severe form of NAFLD characterized by liver lipid accumulation, inflammation, and hepatocyte ballooning, with a different degree of hepatic fibrosis. In the light of rapidly increasing prevalence of NAFLD and NASH, there is an urgent need for improved understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of these diseases. The aim of this study was to decipher the possible role of STE20-type kinase MAP4K4 in the regulation of hepatocellular lipotoxicity and susceptibility to NAFLD.
Identification and characterization of 3-ketosphinganine reductase activity encoded at the BT_0972 locus in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicronBacterial sphingolipid synthesis is important for the fitness of gut commensal bacteria with an implied potential for regulating mammalian host physiology. Multiple steps in bacterial sphingolipid synthesis pathways have been characterized previously, with the first step of de novo sphingolipid synthesis being well conserved between bacteria and eukaryotes. In mammals, the subsequent step of de novo sphingolipid synthesis is catalyzed by 3-ketosphinganine reductase, but the protein responsible for this activity in bacteria has remained elusive.
ANGPTL4 silencing via antisense oligonucleotides reduces plasma triglycerides and glucose in mice without causing lymphadenopathyAngiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) is an important regulator of plasma triglyceride (TG) levels and an attractive pharmacological target for lowering plasma lipids and reducing cardiovascular risk. Here, we aimed to study the efficacy and safety of silencing ANGPTL4 in the livers of mice using hepatocyte-targeting GalNAc-conjugated antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). Compared with injections with negative control ASO, four injections of two different doses of ANGPTL4 ASO over 2 weeks markedly downregulated ANGPTL4 levels in liver and adipose tissue, which was associated with significantly higher adipose LPL activity and lower plasma TGs in fed and fasted mice, as well as lower plasma glucose levels in fed mice.
Whole picture of human stratum corneum ceramides, including the chain-length diversity of long-chain basesCeramides are essential lipids for skin permeability barrier function, and a wide variety of ceramide species exist in the stratum corneum (SC). Although ceramides with long-chain bases (LCBs) of various lengths have been identified in the human SC, a quantitative analysis that distinguishes ceramide species with different LCB chain lengths has not been yet published. Therefore, the whole picture of human SC ceramides remains unclear. Here, we conducted LC/MS/MS analyses to detect individual ceramide species differing in both the LCB and FA chain lengths and quantified 1,327 unbound ceramides and 254 protein-bound ceramides: the largest number of ceramide species reported to date.
Saroglitazar is noninferior to fenofibrate in reducing triglyceride levels in hypertriglyceridemic patients in a randomized clinical trialSaroglitazar, being a dual PPAR-α/γ agonist, has shown beneficial effect in diabetic dyslipidemia and hypertriglyceridemia. Fibrates are commonly used to treat severe hypertriglyceridemia. However, the effect of saroglitazar in patients with moderate to severe hypertriglyceridemia was not evaluated. We conducted a study to compare the efficacy and safety of saroglitazar (4 mg) with fenofibrate (160 mg) in patients with moderate to severe hypertriglyceridemia. This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, double-dummy, active-control, and noninferiority trial in adult patients with fasting triglyceride (TG) levels of 500–1,500 mg/dl.
Plasma FA composition in familial LCAT deficiency indicates SOAT2-derived cholesteryl ester formation in humansMutations in the LCAT gene cause familial LCAT deficiency (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man ID: #245900), a very rare metabolic disorder. LCAT is the only enzyme able to esterify cholesterol in plasma, whereas sterol O-acyltransferases 1 and 2 are the enzymes esterifying cellular cholesterol in cells. Despite the complete lack of LCAT activity, patients with familial LCAT deficiency exhibit circulating cholesteryl esters (CEs) in apoB-containing lipoproteins. To analyze the origin of these CEs, we investigated 24 carriers of LCAT deficiency in this observational study.
Measurement of 7-dehydrocholesterol and cholesterol in hair can be used in the diagnosis of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and cholesterol (CHOL) are biomarkers of Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS), a congenital autosomal recessive disorder characterized by elevated 7-DHC level in patients. Hair samples have been shown to have great diagnostic and research value, which has long been neglected in the SLOS field. In this study, we sought to investigate the feasibility of using hair for SLOS diagnosis. In the presence of antioxidants (2,6-ditert-butyl-4-methylphenol and triphenylphosphine), hair samples were completely pulverized and extracted by micro-pulverized extraction in alkaline solution or in n-hexane.
Direct anabolic metabolism of three-carbon propionate to a six-carbon metabolite occurs in vivo across tissues and speciesAnabolic metabolism of carbon in mammals is mediated via the one- and two-carbon carriers S-adenosyl methionine and acetyl-coenzyme A. In contrast, anabolic metabolism of three-carbon units via propionate has not been shown to extensively occur. Mammals are primarily thought to oxidize the three-carbon short chain fatty acid propionate by shunting propionyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA for entry into the TCA cycle. Here, we found that this may not be absolute as, in mammals, one nonoxidative fate of propionyl-CoA is to condense to two three-carbon units into a six-carbon trans-2-methyl-2-pentenoyl-CoA (2M2PE-CoA).
Identification of two lipid phosphatases that regulate sphingosine-1-phosphate cellular uptake and recyclingSphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a sphingolipid metabolite that serves as a potent extracellular signaling molecule. Metabolic regulation of extracellular S1P levels impacts key cellular activities through altered S1P receptor signaling. Although the pathway through which S1P is degraded within the cell and thereby eliminated from reuse has been previously described, the mechanism used for S1P cellular uptake and the subsequent recycling of its sphingoid base into the sphingolipid synthesis pathway is not completely understood.