[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is defined by excessive lipid accumulation. However, the active mechanistic roles that lipids play in its progression are not understood. Accumulation of ceramide, the metabolic hub of sphingolipid metabolism, has been associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity in humans and model systems. Here, we use Drosophila genetic manipulations to cause accumulation or depletion of ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) intermediates. Sphingolipidomic profiles were characterized across mutants for various sphingolipid metabolic genes using liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectroscopy. Biochemical assays and microscopy were used to assess classic hallmarks of obesity including elevated fat stores, increased body weight, resistance to starvation induced death, increased adiposity, and fat cell hypertrophy. Multiple behavioral assays were used to assess appetite, caloric intake, meal size and meal frequency. Additionally, we utilized DNA microarrays to profile differential gene expression between these flies, which mapped to changes in lipid metabolic pathways. Our results show that accumulation of ceramides is sufficient to induce obesity phenotypes by two distinct mechanisms: 1) Dihydroceramide (C14:0) and ceramide diene (C14:2) accumulation lowered fat store mobilization by reducing adipokinetic hormone- producing cell functionality and 2) Modulating the S1P: ceramide (C14:1) ratio suppressed postprandial satiety via the hindgut-specific neuropeptide like receptor dNepYr, resulting in caloric intake-dependent obesity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fetal development of the mammalian eyelid involves the expansion of the epithelium over the developing cornea, fusion into a continuous sheet covering the eye, and a splitting event several weeks later that results in the formation of the upper and lower eyelids. Recent studies have revealed a significant number of molecular signaling components that are essential mediators of eyelid development. Receptor-mediated sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) signaling is known to influence diverse biological processes but its involvement in eyelid development has not been reported. Here we show that two S1P receptors, S1P2 and S1P3, are collectively essential mediators of eyelid closure during murine development. Homozygous deletion of the gene encoding either receptor has no apparent effect on eyelid development, but double-null embryos are born with an "eyes open at birth" defect due to a delay in epithelial sheet extension. Both receptors are expressed in the advancing epithelial sheet during the critical period of extension. Fibroblasts derived from double-null embryos have a deficient response to epidermal growth factor, suggesting that S1P2 and S1P3 modulate this essential signaling pathway during eyelid closure.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S1P(3) is a lipid-activated G protein-couple receptor (GPCR) that has been implicated in the pathological processes of a number of diseases, including sepsis and cancer. Currently, there are no available high-affinity, subtype-selective drug compounds that can block activation of S1P(3). We have developed a monoclonal antibody (7H9) that specifically recognizes S1P(3) and acts as a functional antagonist.
Specific binding of 7H9 was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry using cells that over-express individual members of the S1P receptor family. We show, in vitro, that 7H9 can inhibit the activation of S1P(3)-mediated cellular processes, including arrestin translocation, receptor internalization, adenylate cyclase inhibiton, and calcium mobilization. We also demonstrate that 7H9 blocks activation of S1P(3) in vivo, 1) by preventing lethality due to systemic inflammation, and 2) by altering the progression of breast tumor xenografts.
We have developed the first-reported monoclonal antibody that selectively recognizes a lipid-activated GPCR and blocks functional activity. In addition to serving as a lead drug compound for the treatment of sepsis and breast cancer, it also provides proof of concept for the generation of novel GPCR-specific therapeutic antibodies.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35129. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fetal hypoxia is a common risk factor that has been associated with a range of CNS disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Cellular and molecular mechanisms through which hypoxia may damage the developing brain are incompletely understood but are likely to involve disruption of the laminar organization of the cerebral cortex. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive lipid capable of cortical influences via one or more of six cognate G protein-coupled receptors, LPA(1-6), several of which are enriched in fetal neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Here we report that fetal hypoxia induces cortical disruption via increased LPA(1) signaling involving stereotyped effects on NPCs: N-cadherin disruption, displacement of mitotic NPCs, and impaired neuronal migration, as assessed both ex vivo and in vivo. Importantly, genetic removal or pharmacological inhibition of LPA(1) prevented the occurrence of these hypoxia-induced phenomena. Hypoxia resulted in overactivation of LPA(1) through selective inhibition of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 expression and activation of downstream pathways including G(αi) and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1. These data identify stereotyped and selective hypoxia-induced cerebral cortical disruption requiring LPA(1) signaling, inhibition of which can reduce or prevent disease-associated sequelae, and may take us closer to therapeutic treatment of fetal hypoxia-induced CNS disorders and possibly other forms of hypoxic injury.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2011; 108(37):15444-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine factors differentiating LPA3 from other lysophospholipid (LP) receptors for its role in embryo implantation.
Experimental mouse models.
Institute/university research laboratories.
Wild-type, Lpar3(-/-), Lpar1(-/-)Lpar2(-/-), and S1pr2(-/-)S1pr3(-/-) mice.
Blue dye injection for determining implantation sites on gestation day 4.5. Real-time polymerase chain reaction for measuring gene expression in whole uterus and separated uterine layers. In situ hybridization for detecting progesterone (P)-induced Lpar3 expression in the uterine luminal epithelium (LE).
Normal implantation was observed in Lpar1(-/-)Lpar2(-/-) and S1pr2(-/-)S1pr3(-/-) females. Temporal expression showed peak expression of Lpar3 in the preimplantation uterus and constitutive expression of the other nine LP receptors in the periimplantation uterus. Spatial localization revealed main expression of Lpar3 in the LE and broad expression of the remaining LP receptors in all three main uterine layers: LE, stromal, and myometrial layers. Hormonal regulation in ovariectomized uterus indicated up-regulation of Lpar3 but down-regulation or no effect of the remaining nine LP receptors by P, and down-regulation of most LP receptors, including Lpar3, by 17β-estradiol.
LE localization and up-regulation by P differentiate LPA3 from the other nine LP receptors and may underlie its essential role in embryo implantation.
Fertility and sterility 03/2011; 95(6):2107-13, 2113.e1-4. · 4.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a lysophospholipid, has gained relevance to multiple sclerosis through the discovery of FTY720 (fingolimod), recently approved as an oral treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Its mechanism of action is thought to be immunological through an active phosphorylated metabolite, FTY720-P, that resembles S1P and alters lymphocyte trafficking through receptor subtype S1P(1). However, previously reported expression and in vitro studies of S1P receptors suggested that direct CNS effects of FTY720 might theoretically occur through receptor modulation on neurons and glia. To identify CNS cells functionally contributing to FTY720 activity, genetic approaches were combined with cellular and molecular analyses. These studies relied on the functional assessment, based on clinical score, of conditional null mouse mutants lacking S1P(1) in CNS cell lineages and challenged by experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. All conditional null mutants displayed WT lymphocyte trafficking that responded normally to FTY720. In marked contrast, EAE was attenuated and FTY720 efficacy was lost in CNS mutants lacking S1P(1) on GFAP-expressing astrocytes but not on neurons. In situ hybridization studies confirmed that astrocyte loss of S1P(1) was the key alteration in functionally affected mutants. Reductions in EAE clinical scores were paralleled by reductions in demyelination, axonal loss, and astrogliosis. Receptor rescue and pharmacological experiments supported the loss of S1P(1) on astrocytes through functional antagonism by FTY720-P as a primary FTY720 mechanism. These data identify nonimmunological CNS mechanisms of FTY720 efficacy and implicate S1P signaling pathways within the CNS as targets for multiple sclerosis therapies.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2011; 108(2):751-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a membrane-derived lysophospholipid that can induce pleomorphic effects in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the cerebral cortex, including alterations in ionic conductance. LPA-induced, calcium-mediated conductance changes have been reported; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been determined. We show here that activation of specific cognate receptors accounts for nearly all intracellular calcium responses evoked by LPA in acutely cultured nestin-positive NPCs from the developing mouse cerebral cortex. Fast-onset changes in intracellular calcium levels required release from thapsigargin-sensitive stores by a pertussis toxin-insensitive mechanism. The influx of extracellular calcium through Cd(2+)/Ni(2+)-insensitive influx pathways, approximately one-half of which were Gd(3+) sensitive, contributed to the temporal diversity of responses. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR revealed the presence of all five known LPA receptors in primary NPCs, with prominent expression of LPA(1), LPA(2), and LPA(4). Combined genetic and pharmacological studies indicated that NPC responses were mediated by LPA(1) (approximately 30% of the cells), LPA(2) (approximately 30%), a combination of receptors on single cells (approximately 30%), and non-LPA(1,2,3) pathways (approximately 10%). LPA responsivity was significantly reduced in more differentiated TuJ1(+) cells within cultures. Calcium transients in a large proportion of LPA-responsive NPCs were also initiated by the closely related signaling lipid S1P (sphingosine-1-phosphate). These data demonstrate for the first time the involvement of LPA receptors in mediating surprisingly diverse NPC calcium responses involving multiple receptor subtypes that function within a single cell. Compared with other known factors, lysophospholipids represent the major activator of calcium signaling identified within NPCs at this early stage in corticogenesis.
Journal of Neuroscience 05/2010; 30(21):7300-9. · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a water-soluble phospholipid, has gained significant attention in recent years since the discovery that it acts as a potent signaling molecule with wide-ranging effects on many different target tissues. There are currently five identified G protein-coupled receptors for LPA and more are undergoing validation. The complexity of the expression pattern and signaling properties of LPA receptors results in multiple influences on developmental, physiological, and pathological processes. This review provides a summary of LPA receptor signaling and current views on the potential involvement of this pathway in human diseases that include cardiovascular, cancer, neuropathic pain, neuropsychiatric disorders, reproductive disorders, and fibrosis. The involvement of LPA signaling in these processes implicates multiple, potential drug targets including LPA receptor subtypes and LPA metabolizing enzymes. Modulation of LPA signaling may thus provide therapeutic inroads for the treatment of human disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a small, ubiquitous phospholipid that acts as an extracellular signaling molecule by binding to and activating at least five known G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs): LPA(1)-LPA(5). They are encoded by distinct genes named LPAR1-LPAR5 in humans and Lpar1-Lpar5 in mice. The biological roles of LPA are diverse and include developmental, physiological, and pathophysiological effects. This diversity is mediated by broad and overlapping expression patterns and multiple downstream signaling pathways activated by cognate LPA receptors. Studies using cloned receptors and genetic knockout mice have been instrumental in uncovering the significance of this signaling system, notably involving basic cellular processes as well as multiple organ systems such as the nervous system. This has further provided valuable proof-of-concept data to support LPA receptors and LPA metabolic enzymes as targets for the treatment of medically important diseases that include neuropsychiatric disorders, neuropathic pain, infertility, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer.
Annual Review of Pharmacology 01/2010; 50:157-86. · 21.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a small signaling lipid that is capable of stimulating a plethora of different cellular responses through the activation of its family of cognate G protein-coupled receptors. LPA mediates a wide range of biological effects in many tissue types that have been recently reviewed; however, its effects on vasculature development and function have received comparatively less examination. In this review, literature on the actions of LPA in three main aspects of vascular development (vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, and vascular maturation) is discussed. In addition, evidence for the roles of LPA signaling in the formation of secondary vascular structures, such as the blood brain barrier, is considered, consistent with significant roles for LPA signaling in vascular development, function, and disease.
International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life 09/2009; 61(8):791-9. · 2.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a bioactive phospholipid, and its family of cognate G protein-coupled receptors have demonstrated roles in many biological functions in the nervous system. To date, five LPA receptors have been identified, and additional receptors may exist. Most of these receptors have been genetically deleted in mice toward identifying biological and medically relevant roles. In addition, small molecule agonists and antagonists have been reported. Here we review recent data on the nervous system functions of LPA signaling, and summarize data on reported agonists and antagonists of LPA receptors.
Current Opinion in Pharmacology 02/2009; 9(1):15-23. · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingolipids comprise a complex group of lipids concentrated in membrane rafts and whose metabolites function as signaling molecules. Sphingolipids are conserved in Drosophila, in which their tight regulation is required for proper development and tissue integrity. In this study, we identified a new family of Drosophila sphingolipids containing two double bonds in the long chain base (LCB). The lipids were found at low levels in wild-type flies and accumulated markedly in Drosophila Sply mutants, which do not express sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase and are defective in sphingolipid catabolism. To determine the identity of the unknown lipids, purified whole fly lipid extracts were separated on a C18-HPLC column and analyzed using electrospray mass spectrometry. The lipids contain a LCB of either 14 or 16 carbons with conjugated double bonds at C4,6. The Delta(4,6)-sphingadienes were found as free LCBs, as phosphorylated LCBs, and as the sphingoid base in ceramides. The temporal and spatial accumulation of Delta(4,6)-sphingadienes in Sply mutants suggests that these lipids may contribute to the muscle degeneration observed in these flies.
The Journal of Lipid Research 04/2008; 49(3):597-606. · 4.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a simple phospholipid derived from cell membranes that has extracellular signaling properties mediated by at least five G protein-coupled receptors referred to as LPA(1)-LPA(5). In the nervous system, receptor-mediated LPA signaling has been demonstrated to influence a range of cellular processes; however, an unaddressed aspect of LPA signaling is its potential to produce specific secondary effects, whereby LPA receptor-expressing cells exposed to, or "primed," by LPA may then act on other cells via distinct, yet LPA-initiated, mechanisms. In the present study, we examined cerebral cortical astrocytes as possible indirect mediators of the effects of LPA on developing cortical neurons. Cultured astrocytes express at least four LPA receptor subtypes, known as LPA(1)-LPA(4). Cerebral cortical astrocytes primed by LPA exposure were found to increase neuronal differentiation of cortical progenitor cells. Treatment of unprimed astrocyte-progenitor cocultures with conditioned medium derived from LPA-primed astrocytes yielded similar results, suggesting the involvement of an astrocyte-derived soluble factor induced by LPA. At least two LPA receptor subtypes are involved in LPA priming, since the priming effect was lost in astrocytes derived from LPA receptor double-null mice (LPA(1)((-/-))/LPA(2)((-/-))). Moreover, the loss of LPA-dependent differentiation in receptor double-null astrocytes could be rescued by retrovirally transduced expression of a single deleted receptor. These data demonstrate that receptor-mediated LPA signaling in astrocytes can induce LPA-dependent, indirect effects on neuronal differentiation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2008; 283(12):7470-9. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingolipid signaling is thought to regulate apoptosis via mechanisms that are dependent on the concentration of ceramide relative to that of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). This study reports defects in reproductive structures and function that are associated with enhanced apoptosis in Drosophila Sply05091 mutants that lack functional S1P lyase and thereby accumulate sphingolipid long chain base metabolites. Analyses of reproductive structures in these adult mutants unmasked multiple abnormalities, including supernumerary spermathecae, degenerative ovaries, and severely reduced testes. TUNEL assessment revealed increased cell death in mutant egg chambers at most oogenic stages and in affected mutant testes. These reproductive abnormalities and elevated gonadal apoptosis were also observed, to varying degrees, in other mutants affecting sphingolipid metabolism. Importantly, the reproductive defects seen in the Sply05091 mutants were ameliorated both by a second site mutation in the lace gene that restores long chain base levels towards normal and by genetic disruption of the proapoptotic genes reaper, hid and grim. These data thus provide the first evidence in Drosophila that accumulated sphingolipids trigger elevated levels of apoptosis via the modulation of known signaling pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hearing requires the transduction of vibrational forces by specialized epithelial cells in the cochlea known as hair cells. The human ear contains a finite number of terminally differentiated hair cells that, once lost by noise-induced damage or toxic insult, can never be regenerated. We report here that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) signaling, mainly via activation of its cognate receptor S1P2, is required for the maintenance of vestibular and cochlear hair cells in vivo. Two S1P receptors, S1P2 and S1P3, were found to be expressed in the cochlea by reverse transcription-PCR and in situ hybridization. Mice that are null for both these receptors uniformly display progressive cochlear and vestibular defects with hair cell loss, resulting in complete deafness by 4 weeks of age and, with complete penetrance, balance defects of increasing severity. This study reveals the previously unknown role of S1P signaling in the maintenance of cochlear and vestibular integrity and suggests a means for therapeutic intervention in degenerative hearing loss.
Journal of Neuroscience 03/2007; 27(6):1474-8. · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While dissociated, reaggregated cells and organotypic slice cultures are useful models for understanding brain development, they only partially mimic the processes and organization that exist in vivo. Towards bridging the gap between in vitro and in vivo paradigms, a method for culturing intact brain tissue was developed using whole cerebral cortical hemispheres in which the anatomical and cellular organization of nervous system tissue is preserved. Single, free-floating telencephalic hemispheres were dissected from embryonic mice and placed into defined culture medium on an orbital shaker. Orbital shaking was necessary for optimal growth, and cortices grown under these conditions closely approximated in vivo parameters of cell division, differentiation, migration and cell death for up to 24 h. In addition to wild-type cultures, the method was compatible with genetically altered tissues. One particular advantage of this method is its ability to reveal global anatomical alterations in the embryonic brain following exposure to soluble growth factors. This method should thus be helpful for assessing a wide range of soluble molecules for their systemic effects on the embryonic brain.
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 12/2006; 158(1):100-8. · 1.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mouse p53 is phosphorylated at Ser18 and Ser23 after DNA damage. To determine whether these two phosphorylation events have synergistic functions in activating p53 responses, we simultaneously introduced Ser18/23 to Ala mutations into the endogenous p53 locus in mice. While partial defects in apoptosis are observed in p53S18A and p53S23A thymocytes exposed to IR, p53-dependent apoptosis is essentially abolished in p53S18/23A thymocytes, indicating that these two events have critical and synergistic roles in activating p53-dependent apoptosis. In addition, p53S18/23A, but not p53S18A, could completely rescue embryonic lethality of Xrcc4(-/-) mice that is caused by massive p53-dependent neuronal apoptosis. However, certain p53-dependent functions, including G1/S checkpoint and cellular senescence, are partially retained in p53(S18/23A) cells. While p53(S18A) mice are not cancer prone, p53S18/23A mice developed a spectrum of malignancies distinct from p53S23A and p53(-/-) mice. Interestingly, Xrcc4(-/-)p53S18/23A mice fail to develop tumors like the pro-B cell lymphomas uniformly developed in Xrcc4(-/-) p53(-/-) animals, but exhibit developmental defects typical of accelerated ageing. Therefore, Ser18 and Ser23 phosphorylation is important for p53-dependent suppression of tumorigenesis in certain physiological context.
The EMBO Journal 07/2006; 25(11):2615-22. · 10.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This report identifies a large number of gene-pairs in Drosophila melanogaster that share a common upstream region. 877 gene-pairs (approximately 12% of the genome) are separated by less than 350 bp in a head-to-head orientation. This positional relationship is more highly favored in flies than in other organisms. These gene pairs have a higher correlation of expression than similarly spaced genes that have head-to-tail or tail-to-tail orientations. Thus, the positional arrangement of genes appears to play a significant role in coordinating relative expression patterns and may provide clues for identifying the functions of unknown genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingosine kinase is a highly conserved enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of sphingosine 1-phosphate and reduces cellular levels of sphingosine and ceramide. Although ceramide is pro-apoptotic and sphingosine is generally growth-inhibitory, sphingosine 1-phosphate signaling promotes cell proliferation, survival, and migration. Sphingosine kinase is thus in a strategic position to regulate important cell fate decisions which may contribute to normal animal development. To facilitate studies examining the potential role of sphingosine kinase and long chain base metabolism in Drosophila development, we characterized two putative Drosophila sphingosine kinase genes, Sk1 and Sk2. Both genes functionally and biochemically complement a yeast sphingosine kinase mutant, express predominantly cytosolic activities, and are capable of phosphorylating a range of endogenous and non-endogenous sphingoid base substrates. The two genes demonstrate overlapping but distinct temporal and spatial expression patterns in the Drosophila embryo, and timing of expression is consistent with observed changes in long chain base levels throughout development. A null Sk2 transposon insertion mutant demonstrated elevated long chain base levels, impaired flight performance, and diminished ovulation. This is the first reported mutation of a sphingosine kinase in an animal model; the associated phenotypes indicate that Sk1 and Sk2 are not redundant in biological function and that sphingosine kinase is essential for diverse physiological functions in this organism.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2004; 279(13):12685-94. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sphingolipid metabolites function as signaling molecules in mammalian cells, influencing cell proliferation, migration, and death. Recently, sphingolipid signaling has been implicated in the regulation of developmental processes in Drosophila melanogaster. However, biochemical analysis of endogenous Drosophila sphingoid bases has not been reported. In this study, a rapid HPLC-based method was developed for the analysis of free sphingoid bases endogenous to Drosophila. Four molecular species of endogenous free sphingoid bases were observed in adult flies and identified as C14 and C16 sphingosine (Sph) and C14 and C16 dihydrosphingosine (DHS). The C14 molecular species were the most prevalent, accounting for approximately 94% of the total free sphingoid bases in adult wild-type flies. An Sph kinase (SK) mutant demonstrated significant accumulation of all four sphingoid bases, whereas a serine palmitoyltransferase mutant demonstrated low but detectable levels. When endogenous sphingoid bases were evaluated at different stages of development, the observed ratio of Sph to DHS increased significantly from early embryo to adulthood. Throughout development, this ratio was significantly lower in the SK mutant as compared with the wild-type. This is the first report describing analysis of free C14 and C16 sphingoid bases from Drosophila. The biochemical characterization of these lipids from mutant models of sphingolipid metabolism should greatly facilitate the analysis of the biological significance of these signaling molecules.
The Journal of Lipid Research 02/2004; 45(1):54-62. · 4.73 Impact Factor