Reconstitution Assay System for Ceramide Transport With Semi-Intact Cells

Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Methods in cell biology (Impact Factor: 1.42). 01/2012; 108:117-29. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386487-1.00006-7
Source: PubMed


The intracellular transport of lipids from the sites of their synthesis to their appropriate destination is a critical step for lipid metabolism. One well-defined inter-organelle lipid movement is the transport of ceramide by ceramide transport protein (CERT). Ceramide, a key intermediate for both sphingomyelin and glycosphingolipids, is synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum and delivered to the Golgi apparatus to be converted to sphingomyelin. CERT delivers ceramide from the ER to the Golgi apparatus in a non-vesicular and ATP-dependent manner. This chapter describes a reconstitution assay system for ceramide transport with semi-intact cells, which is useful for the study of the CERT-mediated inter-organelle transport of ceramide.

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    ABSTRACT: Sphingomyelin (SM) metabolism deregulation was recently associated with cell metastasis and chemoresistance, and several pharmacological strategies targeting SM metabolism have emerged. The ceramide (Cer) generated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is transferred to the Golgi apparatus to be transformed into SM. CERamide Transfer (CERT) protein is responsible for the nonvesicular trafficking of Cer to Golgi. Blocking the CERT-mediated ER-to-Golgi Cer transfer is an interesting antioncogenic therapeutic approach. Here, we developed a protein-lipid interaction assay for the identification of new CERT-Cer interaction inhibitors. Frequently used for protein-protein interaction by enzymatic and analyte dosage assays, homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence technology was adapted for the first time to a lipid-protein binding assay. This test was developed for high-throughput screening, and a library of 672 molecules was screened. Seven hits were identified, and their inhibitory effect quantified by EC50 measurements showed binding inhibition three orders of magnitude more potent than that of HPA12, the unique known CERT antagonist to date. Each compound was tested on an independent test, confirming its high affinity and pharmacological potential. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.
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