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J Biol Chem. 2012 May 11;287(20):16073-87. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.318196. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Structure-dependent pseudoreceptor intracellular traffic of adamantyl globotriaosyl ceramide mimics.

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  • 1Research Institute, Program in Molecular Structure and Function, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


The verotoxin (VT) (Shiga toxin) receptor globotriaosyl ceramide (Gb(3)), mediates VT1/VT2 retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for cytosolic A subunit access to inhibit protein synthesis. Adamantyl Gb(3) is an amphipathic competitive inhibitor of VT1/VT2 Gb(3) binding. However, Gb(3)-negative VT-resistant CHO/Jurkat cells incorporate adaGb(3) to become VT1/VT2-sensitive. CarboxyadaGb(3), urea-adaGb(3), and hydroxyethyl adaGb(3), preferentially bound by VT2, also mediate VT1/VT2 cytotoxicity. VT1/VT2 internalize to early endosomes but not to Golgi/ER. AdabisGb(3) (two deacyl Gb(3)s linked to adamantane) protects against VT1/VT2 more effectively than adaGb(3) without incorporating into Gb(3)-negative cells. AdaGb(3) (but not hydroxyethyl adaGb(3)) incorporation into Gb(3)-positive Vero cells rendered punctate cell surface VT1/VT2 binding uniform and subverted subsequent Gb(3)-dependent retrograde transport to Golgi/ER to render cytotoxicity (reduced for VT1 but not VT2) brefeldin A-resistant. VT2-induced vacuolation was maintained in adaGb(3)-treated Vero cells, but vacuolar membrane VT2 was lost. AdaGb(3) destabilized membrane cholesterol and reduced Gb(3) cholesterol stabilization in phospholipid liposomes. Cholera toxin GM1-mediated Golgi/ER targeting was unaffected by adaGb(3). We demonstrate the novel, lipid-dependent, pseudoreceptor function of Gb(3) mimics and their structure-dependent modulation of endogenous intracellular Gb(3) vesicular traffic.

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