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Friday 27 February 2004

Role of multiple drug resistance protein 1 in neutral but not acidic glycosphingolipid biosynthesis.

By: De Rosa MF, Sillence D, Ackerley C, Lingwood C.

J Biol Chem 2004 Feb 27;279(9):7867-76

Transfection studies have implicated the multiple drug resistance pump, MDR1, as a glucosyl ceramide translocase within the Golgi complex (Lala, P., Ito, S., and Lingwood, C. A. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 6246-6251). We now show that MDR1 inhibitors, cyclosporin A or ketoconazole, inhibit neutral glycosphingolipid biosynthesis in 11 of 12 cell lines tested. The exception, HeLa cells, do not express MDR1. Microsomal lactosyl ceramide and globotriaosyl ceramide synthesis from endogenous or exogenously added liposomal glucosyl ceramide was inhibited by cyclosporin A, consistent with a direct role for MDR1/glucosyl ceramide translocase activity in their synthesis. In contrast, cellular ganglioside synthesis in the same cells, was unaffected by MDR1 inhibition, suggesting neutral and acid glycosphingolipids are synthesized from distinct precursor glycosphingolipid pools. Metabolic labeling in wild type and knock-out (MDR1a, 1b, MRP1) mouse fibroblasts showed the same loss of neutral glycosphingolipid (glucosyl ceramide, lactosyl ceramide) but not ganglioside (GM3) synthesis, confirming the proposed role for MDR1 translocase activity. Cryo-immunoelectron microscopy showed MDR1 was predominantly intracellular, largely in rab6-containing Golgi vesicles and Golgi cisternae, the site of glycosphingolipid synthesis. These studies identify MDR1 as the major glucosyl ceramide flippase required for neutral glycosphingolipid anabolism and demonstrate a previously unappreciated dichotomy between neutral and acid glycosphingolipid synthesis.

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