Inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis by fumonisins. Implications for diseases associated with Fusarium moniliforme.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Culture materials and grains contaminated with certain isolates of Fusarium moniliforme cause equine leucoencephalomalacia, porcine pulmonary edema syndrome, and liver cancer in rats. The causative agents are thought to be a family of compounds called fumonisins, which bear considerable structural similarity to the long-chain (sphingoid) base backbones of sphingolipids. Incubation of rat hepatocytes with fumonisins inhibited incorporation of [14C]serine into the sphingosine moiety of cellular sphingolipids with an IC50 of 0.1 microM for fumonisin B1. In contrast, fumonisin B1 increased the amount of the biosynthetic intermediate sphinganine, which suggests that fumonisins inhibit the conversion of [14C]sphinganine to N-acyl-[14C]sphinganines, a step that is thought to precede introduction of the 4,5-trans double bond of sphingosine (Merrill, A.H., Jr. and Wang, E. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 3764-3769). In agreement with this mechanism, fumonisin B1 inhibited the activity of sphingosine N-acyltransferase (ceramide synthase) in rat liver microsomes with 50% inhibition at approximately 0.1 microM and reduced the conversion of [3H]sphingosine to [3H]ceramide by intact hepatocytes. As far as we are aware, this is the first discovery of a naturally occurring inhibitor of this step of sphingolipid metabolism. These findings suggest that disruption of the de novo pathway of sphingolipid biosynthesis may be a critical event in the diseases that have been associated with consumption of fumonisins.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, E; Norred, WP; Bacon, CW; Riley, RT; Merrill, AH

Published Date

  • August 5, 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 266 / 22

Start / End Page

  • 14486 - 14490

PubMed ID

  • 1860857

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9258


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States