Reference: Hayashi T, et al. (2012) The lifetime of UDP-galactose:ceramide galactosyltransferase is controlled by a distinct endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) regulated by sigma-1 receptor chaperones. J Biol Chem 287(51):43156-69

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Abstract


The glycosphingolipid biosynthesis is initiated by monoglycosylation of ceramides, the action of which is catalyzed either by UDP-glucose:ceramide glucosyltransferase or by UDP-galactose:ceramide galactosyltransferase (CGalT). CGalT is expressed predominantly at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of oligodendrocytes and is responsible for synthesizing galactosylceramides (GalCer) that play an important role in regulation of axon conductance. However, despite the importance of ceramide monoglycosylation enzymes in a spectrum of cellular functions, the mechanism that fine tunes activities of those enzymes is largely unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) chaperone, the mammalian homologue of a yeast C8-C7 sterol isomerase, controls the protein level and activity of the CGalT enzyme via a distinct ER-associated degradation system involving Insig. The Sig-1R forms a complex with Insig via its transmembrane domain partly in a sterol-dependent manner and associates with CGalT at the ER. The knockdown of Sig-1Rs dramatically prolonged the lifetime of CGalT without affecting the trimming of N-linked oligosaccharides at CGalT. The increased lifetime leads to the up-regulation of CGalT protein as well as elevated enzymatic activity in CHO cells stably expressing CGalT. Knockdown of Sig-1Rs also decreased CGalT degradation endogenously expressed in D6P2T-schwannoma cells. Our data suggest that Sig-1Rs negatively regulate the activity of GalCer synthesis under physiological conditions by enhancing the degradation of CGalT through regulation of the dynamics of Insig in the lipid-activated ER-associated degradation system. The GalCer synthesis may thus be influenced by sterols at the ER.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
Authors
Hayashi T, Hayashi E, Fujimoto M, Sprong H, Su TP
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