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.
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.
The SARS-CoV2 envelope differs from host cells, exposes procoagulant lipids, and is disrupted in vivo by oral rinsesThe lipid envelope of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an essential component of the virus; however, its molecular composition is undetermined. Addressing this knowledge gap could support the design of antiviral agents as well as further our understanding of viral-host protein interactions, infectivity, pathogenicity, and innate immune system clearance. Lipidomics revealed that the virus envelope comprised mainly phospholipids (PLs), with some cholesterol and sphingolipids, and with cholesterol/phospholipid ratio similar to lysosomes.
Consequences of excessive glucosylsphingosine in glucocerebrosidase-deficient zebrafish.In Gaucher disease (GD), the deficiency of glucocerebrosidase causes lysosomal accumulation of glucosylceramide (GlcCer), which is partly converted by acid ceramidase to glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in the lysosome. Chronically elevated blood and tissue GlcSph is thought to contribute to symptoms in GD patients as well as to increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, formation of GlcSph may be beneficial since the water soluble sphingoid base is excreted via urine and bile. To study the role of excessive GlcSph formation during glucocerebrosidase deficiency, we studied zebrafish that have two orthologs of acid ceramidase, Asah1a and Asah1b.
Determination of tissue contributions to the circulating lipid pool in cold exposure via systematic assessment of lipid profilesPlasma lipid levels are altered in chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as during acute stresses such as fasting and cold exposure. Advances in MS-based lipidomics have uncovered a complex plasma lipidome of more than 500 lipids that serve functional roles, including as energy substrates and signaling molecules. This plasma lipid pool is maintained through regulation of tissue production, secretion, and uptake. A major challenge in understanding the lipidome complexity is establishing the tissues of origin and uptake for various plasma lipids, which is valuable for determining lipid functions.
Neutral ceramidase deficiency protects against cisplatin-induced acute kidney injuryCisplatin is a commonly used chemotherapeutic for the treatment of many solid organ cancers; however, its effectiveness is limited by the development of acute kidney injury (AKI) in 30% of patients. AKI is driven by proximal tubule cell death, leading to rapid decline in renal function. It has previously been shown that sphingolipid metabolism plays a role in regulating many of the biological processes involved in cisplatin-induced AKI. For example, neutral ceramidase (nCDase) is an enzyme responsible for converting ceramide into sphingosine, which is then phosphorylated to become sphingosine-1-phosphate, and our lab previously demonstrated that nCDase knockout (nCDase−/−) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts led to resistance to nutrient and energy deprivation–induced cell death via upregulation of autophagic flux.
Cholesterol sulfate fluidizes the sterol fraction of the stratum corneum lipid phase and increases its permeabilityDesulfation of cholesterol sulfate (CholS) to cholesterol (Chol) is an important event in epidermal homeostasis and necessary for stratum corneum (SC) barrier function. The CholS/Chol ratio decreases during SC maturation but remains high in pathological conditions, such as X-linked ichthyosis, characterized by dry and scaly skin. The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of the CholS/Chol molar ratio on the structure, dynamics, and permeability of SC lipid model mixtures. We synthesized deuterated CholS and investigated lipid models with specifically deuterated components using 2H solid-state NMR spectroscopy at temperatures from 25°C to 80°C.
CRISPR/Cas9 deletion of ORMDLs reveals complexity in sphingolipid metabolismThe 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.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease stratification by liver lipidomicsNonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common metabolic dysfunction leading to hepatic steatosis. However, NAFLD's global impact on the liver lipidome is poorly understood. Using high-resolution shotgun mass spectrometry, we quantified the molar abundance of 316 species from 22 major lipid classes in liver biopsies of 365 patients, including nonsteatotic patients with normal or excessive weight, patients diagnosed with NAFL (nonalcoholic fatty liver) or NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), and patients bearing common mutations of NAFLD-related protein factors.
The maternal blood lipidome is indicative of the pathogenesis of severe preeclampsiaPreeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. However, it is not well understood what lipids are involved in the development of this condition, and even less is known how these lipids mediate its formation. To reveal the relationship between lipids and preeclampsia, we conducted lipidomic profiling of maternal sera of 44 severe preeclamptic and 20 healthy pregnant women from a multiethnic cohort in Hawaii. Correlation network analysis showed that oxidized phospholipids have increased intercorrelations and connections in preeclampsia, whereas other lipids, including triacylglycerols, have reduced network correlations and connections.
Metabolism of HSAN1- and T2DM-associated 1-deoxy-sphingolipids inhibits the migration of fibroblastsHereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 (HSAN1) is a rare axonopathy, characterized by a progressive loss of sensation (pain, temperature, and vibration), neuropathic pain, and wound healing defects. HSAN1 is caused by several missense mutations in the serine palmitoyltransferase long-chain base subunit 1 and serine palmitoyltransferase long-chain base subunit 2 of the enzyme serine palmitoyltransferase—the key enzyme for the synthesis of sphingolipids. The mutations change the substrate specificity of serine palmitoyltransferase, which then forms an atypical class of 1-deoxy-sphinglipids (1-deoxySLs).
Inhibition of chylomicron assembly leads to dissociation of hepatic steatosis from inflammation and fibrosisRegulating dietary fat absorption may impact progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Here, we asked if inducible inhibition of chylomicron assembly, as observed in intestine-specific microsomal triglyceride (TG) transfer protein knockout mice (Mttp-IKO), could retard NAFLD progression and/or reverse established fibrosis in two dietary models. Mttp-IKO mice fed a methionine/choline-deficient (MCD) diet exhibited reduced hepatic TGs, inflammation, and fibrosis, associated with reduced oxidative stress and downstream activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and nuclear factor kappa B signaling pathways.
ATP-binding cassette transporters mediate differential biosynthesis of glycosphingolipid speciesThe cytosolic-oriented glucosylceramide (GlcCer) synthase is enigmatic, requiring nascent GlcCer translocation to the luminal Golgi membrane to access glycosphingolipid (GSL) anabolic glycosyltransferases. The mechanism by which GlcCer is flipped remains unclear. To investigate the role of GlcCer-binding partners in this process, we previously made cleavable, biotinylated, photoreactive GlcCer analogs in which the reactive nitrene was closely apposed to the GlcCer head group, while maintaining a C16-acyl chain.
Palmitoylation of acetylated tubulin and association with ceramide-rich platforms is critical for ciliogenesisMicrotubules are polymers composed of αβ-tubulin subunits that provide structure to cells and play a crucial role in in the development and function of neuronal processes and cilia, microtubule-driven extensions of the plasma membrane that have sensory (primary cilia) or motor (motile cilia) functions. To stabilize microtubules in neuronal processes and cilia, α tubulin is modified by the posttranslational addition of an acetyl group, or acetylation. We discovered that acetylated tubulin in microtubules interacts with the membrane sphingolipid, ceramide.