Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci Res. 2003 Apr 1;72(1):65-75.

Ceramide in rafts (detergent-insoluble fraction) mediates cell death in neurotumor cell lines.

Author information

Departments of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 30637, USA.


Detergent-resistant lipid microdomains (Rafts) were isolated from human oligodendroglioma (HOG), human neuroblastoma (LA-N-5), and immortalized dorsal root ganglion (F-11) cell lines by sucrose-density gradient ultracentrifugation and shown to be enriched in cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and ceramide. [(3)H]palmitate labeling allowed the Raft fraction to be easily identified as a sharp peak of (3)H radioactivity in the 5-30% sucrose interphase. Treatment of [(3)H]palmitate-labeled cells with staurosporine (to activate caspase 8 and induce apoptosis) or exogenous sphingomyelinase specifically increased the [(3)H]ceramide content of the Raft fraction. Depletion of cholesterol with beta-methylcyclodextran decreased Raft formation and partially blocked staurosporine-induced apoptosis. Similarly, treatment of cells with Fumonisin B1 to inhibit de novo sphingolipid synthesis by 50% reduced the labeling of the Raft fraction and partially blocked staurosporine-induced apoptosis. Staurosporine treatment activated neutral sphingomyelinase but had no effect on acid sphingomyelinase activity or on other lysosomal hydrolases, such as alpha-L-fucosidase. Most of the neutral sphingomyelinase activity is in the Raft fraction, suggesting that the conversion of sphingomyelin to ceramide in Rafts is an important event in neural cell apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center