Seminolipid and its precursor/degradative product, galactosylalkylacylglycerol, in the testis of saposin A- and prosaposin-deficient mice.
ABSTRACT Sphingolipid activator proteins (saposins A, B, C, and D) are derived from a common precursor protein (prosaposin) and specifically activate in vivo degradation of glycolipids with short carbohydrate chains. A mouse model of prosaposin deficiency (prosaposin-/-) closely mimics the human disease with an elevation of multiple glycolipids. The recently developed saposin A-/- mice showed a chronic form of globoid cell leukodystrophy, establishing the essential in vivo role of saposin A as an activator for galactosylceramidase to degrade galactosylceramide. Seminolipid, the principal glycolipid in spermatozoa, and its precursor/degradative product, galactosylalkylacylglycerol (GalEAG), were analyzed in the testis of the two mouse mutants by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Saposin A-/- mice showed the normal seminolipid level, while that of prosaposin-/- mice was approximately 150% of the normal level at the terminal stage. In contrast, GalEAG increased up to 10 times in saposin A-/- mice, whereas it decreased with age in the wild-type as well as in prosaposin-/- mice. These analytical findings on the two saposin mutants may shed some light on the physiological function of seminolipid and GalEAG.
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ABSTRACT: Chemical and physico-chemical properties as well as physiological functions of major mammalian ether-linked glycerolipids, including plasmalogens were reviewed. Their chemical structures were described and their effect on membrane fluidity and membrane fusion discussed. The recent generation of mouse models with ether lipid deficiency offered the possibility to study ether lipid and particularly plasmalogen functions in vivo. Ether lipid-deficient mice revealed severe phenotypic alterations, including arrest of spermatogenesis, development of cataract and defects in central nervous system myelination. In several cell culture systems lack of plasmalogens impaired intracellular cholesterol distribution affecting plasma membrane functions and structural changes of ER and Golgi cisternae. Based on these phenotypic anomalies that were accurately described conclusions were drawn on putative functions of plasmalogens. These functions were related to cell-cell or cell-extracellular matrix interactions, formation of lipid raft microdomains and intracellular cholesterol homeostasis. There are several human disorders, such as Zellweger syndrome, rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata, Alzheimer's disease, Down syndrome, and Niemann-Pick type C disease that are distinguished by altered tissue plasmalogen concentrations. The role plasmalogens might play in the pathology of these disorders is discussed.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2007; 1763(12):1511-26. · 4.66 Impact Factor