Fumonisin B1 inhibits sphingosine (sphinganine) N-acyltransferase and de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis in cultured neurons in situ.
Fumonisins, mycotoxins produced by Fusarium moniliforme and a number of other fungi, cause neuronal degeneration, liver and renal toxicity, cancer, and other injury to animals. Recent work with rat hepatocytes (Wang, E., Norred, W. P., Bacon, C. W., Riley, R. T., and Merrill, A. H., Jr. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 14486-14490) found that fumonisins block sphingosine biosynthesis by inhibiting the conversion of sphinganine to dihydroceramides, which precedes introduction of the 4,5-trans-double bond of sphingosine. The current study utilized mouse cerebellar neurons in culture to evaluate how this affects the distribution of newly synthesized ceramides among different complex sphingolipids. Fumonisin B1 inhibited ceramide synthase in mouse brain microsomes with a competitive-like kinetic behavior with respect to both sphinganine and stearoyl-CoA. Fumonisin B1 inhibited sphingolipid biosynthesis in cultured cerebellar neurons in situ as reflected by accumulation of free sphinganine, a reduction in the mass of total sphingolipids, reductions in the incorporation of [14C]serine into glucosylceramide, lactosylceramide, sphingomyelin, and gangliosides (GM1, GD3, GD1a, GD1b, GT1b, and GQ1b), and inhibition of the incorporation of [14C]galactose and [3H]sphinganine into complex sphingolipids. Dose-response studies revealed that the labeling of sphingomyelin (IC50 of 0.7 microM) was more sensitive to inhibition by fumonisin B1 than was glycolipid formation (IC50 of approximately 7 microM) in these cells. A similar effect was seen when beta-fluoroalanine was added to inhibit the activity of serine palmitoyltransferase, the first enzyme of the pathway. The inhibition of complex sphingolipid synthesis was reversible, and nearly normal labeling profiles were obtained 48 h after removing the mycotoxin. These studies establish that fumonisin B1 inhibits de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis by neuronal cells and, moreover, that limiting ceramide synthesis differentially affects the formation of sphingomyelin versus glycosphingolipids.
Merrill, AH; van Echten, G; Wang, E; Sandhoff, K
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