Sphingolipids contribute to the regulation of cell and tissue homeostasis, and disorders of sphingolipid metabolism lead to diseases such as inflammation, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Sphingolipid metabolic pathways involve an array of enzymes that reside in specific subcellular organelles, resulting in the formation of many diverse sphingolipids with distinct molecular species based on the diversity of the ceramide (Cer) structure. In order to probe compartment-specific metabolism of sphingolipids in this study, we analyzed the Cer and SM species preferentially produced in the inner plasma membrane (PM), Golgi apparatus, ER, mitochondria, nucleus, and cytoplasm by using compartmentally targeted bacterial SMases and ceramidases. The results showed that the length of the acyl chain of Cer becomes longer according to the progress of Cer from synthesis in the ER to the Golgi apparatus, then to the PM. These findings suggest that each organelle shows different properties of SM-derived Cers consistent with its emerging distinct functions in vitro and in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology