Polarized sphingolipid transport from the subapical compartment: evidence for distinct sphingolipid domains.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.
Molecular Biology of the Cell (Impact Factor: 4.6). 11/1999; 10(10):3449-61.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In polarized HepG2 cells, the sphingolipids glucosylceramide and sphingomyelin (SM), transported along the reverse transcytotic pathway, are sorted in subapical compartments (SACs), and subsequently targeted to either apical or basolateral plasma membrane domains, respectively. In the present study, evidence is provided that demonstrates that these sphingolipids constitute separate membrane domains at the luminal side of the SAC membrane. Furthermore, as revealed by the use of various modulators of membrane trafficking, such as calmodulin antagonists and dibutyryl-cAMP, it is shown that the fate of these separate sphingolipid domains is regulated by different signals, including those that govern cell polarity development. Thus under conditions that stimulate apical plasma membrane biogenesis, SM is rerouted from a SAC-to-basolateral to a SAC-to-apical pathway. The latter pathway represents the final leg in the transcytotic pathway, followed by the transcytotic pIgR-dIgA protein complex. Interestingly, this pathway is clearly different from the apical recycling pathway followed by glucosylceramide, further indicating that randomization of these pathways, which are both bound for the apical membrane, does not occur. The consequence of the potential coexistence of separate sphingolipid domains within the same compartment in terms of "raft" formation and apical targeting is discussed.

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