Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2012 Mar 16;287(12):9128-36. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.302380. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) lyase deficiency increases sphingolipid formation via recycling at the expense of de novo biosynthesis in neurons.

Author information

Membrane Biology and Lipid Biochemistry Unit, Life and Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Sphingosine 1-phosphate lyase (S1P lyase) irreversibly cleaves sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) in the final step of sphingolipid catabolism. As sphingoid bases and their 1-phosphate are not only metabolic intermediates but also highly bioactive lipids that modulate a wide range of physiological processes, it would be predicted that their elevation might induce adjustments in other facets of sphingolipid metabolism and/or alter cell behavior. Indeed, we have previously reported that S1P lyase deficiency causes neurodegeneration and other adverse symptoms. We next asked the question whether and how S1P lyase deficiency affects the metabolism of (glyco)sphingolipids and cholesterol, two lipid classes that might be involved in the neurodegenerative processes observed in S1P lyase-deficient mice. As predicted, there was a considerable increase in free and phosphorylated sphingoid bases upon elimination of S1P lyase, but to our surprise, rather than increasing, the mass of (glyco)sphingolipids persisted at wild type levels. This was discovered to be due to reduced de novo sphingoid base biosynthesis and a corresponding increase in the recycling of the backbones via the salvage pathway. There was also a considerable increase in cholesterol esters, although free cholesterol persisted at wild type levels, which might be secondary to the shifts in sphingolipid metabolism. All in all, these findings show that accumulation of free and phosphorylated sphingoid bases by loss of S1P lyase causes an interesting readjustment of the balance between de novo biosynthesis and recycling to maintain (glyco)sphingolipid homeostasis. These changes, and their impact on the metabolism of other cellular lipids, should be explored as possible contributors to the neurodegeneration in S1P lyase deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center