A Fluorescence-Based High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Assay to Determine Acid Ceramidase Activity

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
Analytical Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 2.22). 11/1999; 274(2):264-9. DOI: 10.1006/abio.1999.4284
Source: PubMed


Acid ceramidase (N-acylsphingosine amidohydrolase) is the lysosomal enzyme required to hydrolyze the N-acyl linkage between the fatty acid and sphingosine moieties in ceramide. A deficiency of acid ceramidase activity results in the lipid storage disorder, Farber disease. This study reports a new assay method to detect acid ceramidase activity in vitro using Bodipy or lissamine rhodamine-conjugated ceramide (C12 ceramide; dodecanoylsphingosine). Using mouse kidney extracts as the source of acid ceramidase activity, this new method was compared with an assay using radioactive C12 ceramide (N-[(14)C]-dodecanoylsphingosine) as a substrate. The Bodipy C12 ceramide substrate provided data very similar to those of the radioactive substrate, but under the experimental conditions tested, it was significantly more sensitive. Using Bodipy C12 ceramide, femtomole quantities of the product, Bodipy dodecanoic acid, could be detected, providing an accurate measure of acid ceramidase activity as low as 0.1 pmol/mg protein/h. Acid ceramidase activities in skin fibroblasts and EBV-transformed lymphoblasts from Farber disease patients were around 7.8 and 10% of those in normal cells, respectively, confirming the specificity of this new assay method. Based on these results, we suggest that this fluorescence-based, high-performance liquid chromatographic technique is a reliable, rapid, and highly sensitive method to determine acid ceramidase activity, and that it could be useful wherever the in vitro detection of acid ceramidase activity is of importance.

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    • "The conditioned medium was collected, and rAC was concentrated by pressure filtration (cut off 30 kDa, Amicon, Billerica, MA, USA) and purified using a fast protein liquid chromatography system (Amersham Biosciences, Piscataway, NJ, USA). The amount of rAC was quantified by enzyme activity measurement and western blot analysis as previously described [21], [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acid ceramidase is required to maintain the metabolic balance of several important bioactive lipids, including ceramide, sphingosine and sphingosine-1-phosphate. Here we show that addition of recombinant acid ceramidase (rAC) to primary chondrocyte culture media maintained low levels of ceramide and led to elevated sphingosine by 48 hours. Surprisingly, after three weeks of expansion the chondrogenic phenotype of these cells also was markedly improved, as assessed by a combination of histochemical staining (Alcian Blue and Safranin-O), western blotting (e.g., Sox9, aggrecan, collagen 2A1), and/or qPCR. The same effects were evident in rat, equine and human cells, and were observed in monolayer and 3-D cultures. rAC also reduced the number of apoptotic cells in some culture conditions, contributing to overall improved cell quality. In addition to these effects on primary chondrocytes, when rAC was added to freshly harvested rat, equine or feline bone marrow cultures an ∼2-fold enrichment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was observed by one week. rAC also improved the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, as revealed by histochemical and immunostaining. These latter effects were synergistic with TGF-beta1. Based on these results we propose that rAC could be used to improve the outcome of cell-based cartilage repair by maintaining the quality of the expanded cells, and also might be useful in vivo to induce endogenous cartilage repair in combination with other techniques. The results also suggest that short-term changes in sphingolipid metabolism may lead to longer-term effects on the chondrogenic phenotype.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Measurement of AC-specific activity and ceramide levels AC activity was measured by a fluorimetric HPLC-based assay modified from He et al. (1999). Briefly, cell samples were suspended in 50 ml of sucrose and lysed by repeated freeze–thaw. "
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    ABSTRACT: Farber disease is a rare lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) that manifests due to acid ceramidase (AC) deficiencies and ceramide accumulation. We present a preclinical gene therapy study for Farber disease employing a lentiviral vector (LV-huAC/huCD25) in three enzymatically normal nonhuman primates. Autologous, mobilized peripheral blood (PB) cells were transduced and infused into fully myelo-ablated recipients with tracking for at least 1 year. Outcomes were assessed by measuring the AC specific activity, ceramide levels, vector persistence/integration, and safety parameters. We observed no hematological, biochemical, radiological, or pathological abnormalities. Hematological recovery occurred by approximately 3 weeks. Vector persistence was observed in PB and bone marrow (BM) cells by qualitative and quantitative PCR. We did not observe any clonal proliferation of PB and BM cells. Importantly, AC-specific activity was detected above normal levels in PB and BM cells analyzed post-transplantation and in spleens and livers at the endpoint of the study. Decreases of ceramide in PB cells as well as in spleen and liver tissues were seen. We expect that this study will provide a roadmap for implementation of clinical gene therapy protocols targeting hematopoietic cells for Farber disease and other LSDs.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Human gene therapy
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    • "The hydrolysis reactions were stopped by adding 24 μl of ethanol and centrifuged (13,000×g) for 5 min. Thirty μl of the supernatant was then transferred to a sampling glass vial and 5 μl was applied onto an HPLC system (Waters, Milford, MA, USA) for analysis (He et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal sphingolipid metabolism has been previously reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To extend these findings, several sphingolipids and sphingolipid hydrolases were analyzed in brain samples from AD patients and age-matched normal individuals. We found a pattern of elevated acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) and acid ceramidase (AC) expression in AD, leading to a reduction in sphingomyelin and elevation of ceramide. More sphingosine also was found in the AD brains, although sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) levels were reduced. Notably, significant correlations were observed between the brain ASM and S1P levels and the levels of amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide and hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Based on these findings, neuronal cell cultures were treated with Abeta oligomers, which were found to activate ASM, increase ceramide, and induce apoptosis. Pre-treatment of the neurons with purified, recombinant AC prevented the cells from undergoing Abeta-induced apoptosis. We propose that ASM activation is an important pathological event leading to AD, perhaps due to Abeta deposition. The downstream consequences of ASM activation are elevated ceramide, activation of ceramidases, and production of sphingosine. The reduced levels of S1P in the AD brain, together with elevated ceramide, likely contribute to the disease pathogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · Neurobiology of aging
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