which usually occurs in the pre-teen years.
Sphingomyelin Synthesis and Metabolism
N2 - The current studies explore the mechanism by which the sphingomyelin content of mammalian cells regulates transcription of genes encoding enzymes of cholesterol synthesis. Previous studies by others have shown that depletion of sphingomyelin by treatment with neutral sphingomyelinase causes a fraction of cellular cholesterol to translocate from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum where it expands a regulatory pool that leads to down-regulation of cholesterol synthesis and up-regulation of cholesterol esterification. Here we show that sphingomyelinase treatment of cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells prevents the nuclear entry of sterol regulatory element binding protein-2 (SREBP-2), a membrane-bound transcription factor required for transcription of several genes involved in the biosynthesis and uptake of cholesterol. Nuclear entry is blocked because sphingomyelinase treatment inhibits the proteolytic cleavage of SREBP-2 at site 1, thereby preventing release of the active NH2-terminal fragments from cell membranes. Sphingomyelinase treatment thus mimics the inhibitory effect on SREBP processing that occurs when exogenous sterols are added to cells. Sphingomyelinase treatment did not block site 1 proteolysis of SREBP-2 in 25- RA cells, a line of Chinese hamster ovary cells that is resistant to the suppressive effects of sterols, owing to an activating point mutation in the gene encoding SREBP cleavage-activating protein. In 25-RA cells, sphingomyelinase treatment also failed to downregulate the mRNA for 3- hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA synthase, a cholesterol biosynthetic enzyme whose transcription depends on the cleavage of SREBPs. Considered together with previous data, the current results indicate that cells regulate the balance between cholesterol and sphingomyelin content by regulating the proteolytic cleavage of SREBPs.
Acylglycerols, sphingolipids synthesis Flashcards | Quizlet
The intracellular site of sphingomyelin (SM) synthesis was examined in subcellular fractions from rat liver using a radioactive ceramide analog N-([1-14C]hexanoyl)-D-erythro-sphingosine. This lipid readily transferred from a complex with bovine serum albumin to liver fractions without disrupting the membranes, and was metabolized to radioactive SM. To prevent degradation of the newly synthesized SM to ceramide, all experiments were performed in the presence of EDTA to minimize neutral sphingomyelinase activity and at neutral pH to minimize acid sphingomyelinase activity. An intact Golgi apparatus fraction gave an 85-98-fold enrichment of SM synthesis and a 58-83-fold enrichment of galactosyltransferase activity. Controlled trypsin digestion demonstrated that SM synthesis was localized to the lumen of intact Golgi apparatus vesicles. Although small amounts of SM synthesis were detected in plasma membrane and rough microsome fractions, after accounting for contamination by Golgi apparatus membranes, their combined activity contributed less than 13% of the total SM synthesis in rat liver. Subfractions of the Golgi apparatus were obtained and characterized by immunoblotting and biochemical assays using cis/medial (mannosidase II) and trans (sialyltransferase and galactosyltransferase) Golgi apparatus markers. The specific activity of SM synthesis was highest in enriched cis and medial fractions but far lower in a trans fraction. We conclude that SM synthesis in rat liver occurs predominantly in the cis and medial cisternae of the Golgi apparatus and not at the plasma membrane or endoplasmic reticulum as has been previously suggested.