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Alterations in the properties of the cell membrane due to glycosphingolipid accumulation in a model of Gaucher disease.

Gaucher disease is a lysosomal storage disease characterized by the malfunction of glucocerebrosidase resulting in the accumulation of glucosylceramide and other sphingolipids in certain cells. Although the disease symptoms are usually attributed to the storage of undigested substrate in lysosomes, here we show that glycosphingolipids accumulating in the plasma membrane cause profound changes in the properties of the membrane. The fluidity of the sphingolipid-enriched membrane decreased accompanied by the enlargement of raft-like ordered membrane domains. The mobility of non-raft proteins and lipids was severely restricted, while raft-resident components were only mildly affected. The rate of endocytosis of transferrin receptor, a non-raft protein, was significantly retarded in Gaucher cells, while the endocytosis of the raft-associated GM1 ganglioside was unaffected. Interferon-γ-induced STAT1 phosphorylation was also significantly inhibited in Gaucher cells. Atomic force microscopy revealed that sphingolipid accumulation was associated with a more compliant membrane capable of producing an increased number of nanotubes. The results imply that glycosphingolipid accumulation in the plasma membrane has significant effects on membrane properties, which may be important in the pathogenesis of Gaucher disease.

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Characterization of lipid rafts in human platelets using nuclear magnetic resonance: A pilot study.

Lipid microdomains ('lipid rafts') are plasma membrane subregions, enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids, which participate dynamically in cell signaling and molecular trafficking operations. One strategy for the study of the physicochemical properties of lipid rafts in model membrane systems has been the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but until now this spectroscopic method has not been considered a clinically relevant tool. We performed a proof-of-concept study to test the feasibility of using NMR to study lipid rafts in human tissues. Platelets were selected as a cost-effective and minimally invasive model system in which lipid rafts have previously been studied using other approaches. Platelets were isolated from plasma of medication-free adult research participants (n=13) and lysed with homogenization and sonication. Lipid-enriched fractions were obtained using a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Association of lipid fractions with GM1 ganglioside was tested using HRP-conjugated cholera toxin B subunit dot blot assays. 1H high resolution magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (HRMAS NMR) spectra obtained with single-pulse Bloch decay experiments yielded spectral linewidths and intensities as a function of temperature. Rates of lipid lateral diffusion that reported on raft size were measured with a two-dimensional stimulated echo longitudinal encode-decode NMR experiment. We found that lipid fractions at 10-35% sucrose density associated with GM1 ganglioside, a marker for lipid rafts. NMR spectra of the membrane phospholipids featured a prominent 'centerband' peak associated with the hydrocarbon chain methylene resonance at 1.3 ppm; the linewidth (full width at half-maximum intensity) of this 'centerband' peak, together with the ratio of intensities between the centerband and 'spinning sideband' peaks, agreed well with values reported previously for lipid rafts in model membranes. Decreasing temperature produced decreases in the 1.3 ppm peak intensity and a discontinuity at ~18 °C, for which the simplest explanation is a phase transition from Ld to Lo phases indicative of raft formation. Rates of lateral diffusion of the acyl chain lipid signal at 1.3 ppm, a quantitative measure of microdomain size, were consistent with lipid molecules organized in rafts. These results show that HRMAS NMR can characterize lipid microdomains in human platelets, a methodological advance that could be extended to other tissues in which membrane biochemistry may have physiological and pathophysiological relevance.

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Syntheses of Fluorescent Gangliosides for the Studies of Raft Domains.

Gangliosides, glycosphingolipids containing one or more sialic acids in the glycan chain, are involved in various important biological processes in cell plasma membranes (PMs). However, the behaviors and functions of gangliosides are poorly understood, primarily because of the lack of fluorescent analogs that are equivalent to native gangliosides that can be used as chemical and physical probes. In this study, we developed entirely chemical methods to synthesize fluorescent gangliosides (GM3, GM2, GM1, and GD1b) in which the glycan components are site-specifically labeled with various fluorescent dyes. The functional evaluations of the synthesized fluorescent gangliosides demonstrated the great influence of fluorescent dye on the physical properties of gangliosides in PMs and revealed the fluorescent ganglioside analogs which show similar behaviors to the native gangliosides.

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Interaction Between Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone and GM1-Doped Cholesterol/Sphingomyelin Vesicles: A Spectroscopic Study.

Understanding the role of neural membrane in translocation and action of neurohormone is of great importance. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) is a neuropeptide hormone and it acts as a final signaling molecule by stimulating the synthesis of LH and FSH to maintain reproduction in all vertebrates. The receptors of LHRH are found in breast tumors and pituitary gland in the brain. Moreover, neural plasma membrane is also found to contain specific binding site for LHRH. The mechanism by which LHRH binds to membrane before it binds to the receptors is a very critical step and can have a profound impact upon the translation of peptide across the membrane. A complex form of glycosphingolipids known as Ganglioside is an important component of plasma membrane of nerve cells and breast tumor tissues. They play an important role in various physiological membrane processes. Therefore, the interaction of ganglioside-containing membrane with LHRH might be crucial in aiding the LHRH to translate through the neural membrane and reach its receptor for binding and activation. Using CD, UV-Absorbance, and fluorescence spectroscopy, the effect of Ganglioside Monosialo 1(GM1)-induced conformational changes of LHRH in the presence of Cholesterol (CHOL)/Sphingomyelin (SM) and GM1/CHOL/SM vesicles was studied. The aforesaid spectroscopic studies show that LHRH is able to bind with both the vesicles, but GM1-containing vesicles interact more effectively than vesicles without GM1. CHOL/SM vesicles partially disturb the conformation of the peptide. Moreover, binding of LHRH to GM1/CHOL/SM vesicles induces loss of conformational rigidity and attainment of a random coil.

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Role of the GM1 ganglioside oligosaccharide portion in the TrkA-dependent neurite sprouting in neuroblastoma cells.

GM1 ganglioside (II3 NeuAc-Gg4 Cer) is known to promote neurite formation in neuroblastoma cells by activating TrkA-MAPK pathway. The molecular mechanism by which GM1 is involved in the neurodifferentiation process is still unknown, however, in vitro and in vivo evidences have suggested that the oligosaccharide portion of this ganglioside could be involved. Here, we report that, similarly to the entire GM1 molecule, its oligosaccharide II3 NeuAc-Gg4, rather than its ceramide (Cer) portion is responsible for the neurodifferentiation process by augmenting neurite elongation and increasing the neurofilament protein expression in murine neuroblastoma cells, Neuro2a. Conversely, asialo-GM1, GM2 and GM3 oligosaccharides are not effective in neurite elongation on Neuro2a cells, whereas the effect exerted by the Fuc-GM1 oligosaccharide (IV2 αFucII3 Neu5Ac-Gg4 ) is similar to that exerted by GM1 oligosaccharide. The neurotrophic properties of GM1 oligosaccharide are exerted by activating the TrkA receptor and the following phosphorylation cascade. By photolabeling experiments performed with a nitrophenylazide containing GM1 oligosaccharide, labeled with tritium, we showed a direct interaction between the GM1 oligosaccharide and the extracellular domain of TrkA receptor. Moreover, molecular docking analyses confirmed that GM1 oligosaccharide binds the TrkA-nerve growth factor complex leading to a binding free energy of approx. -11.5 kcal/mol, acting as a bridge able to increase and stabilize the TrkA-nerve growth factor molecular interactions.

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Tumor necrosis factor-alpha -863C/A polymorphism is associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome in Bangladesh.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a post-infectious autoimmune polyneuropathy regulated by pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines; TNFA polymorphisms may exert immune pathogenic roles in GBS. We assessed TNFA promoter region polymorphisms (-238G/A, -308G/A, -857C/T, -863C/A) in Bangladeshi patients with GBS (n=300) and healthy controls (n=300) by PCR-RFLP and ASO-PCR. TNFA -863CA was significantly associated with GBS disease susceptibility (P=0.0154) and disease severity (P=0.0492). TNFA -238A allele was more frequent among anti-ganglioside (GM1) antibody-positive patients (P=0.0092) and -863AA associated with AMAN subtype of GBS (P=0.0398). TNFA -863C/A may contribute to GBS severity and pathogenesis in Bangladeshi patients.

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Development of new ganglioside probes and unraveling of raft domain structure by single-molecule imaging.

Gangliosides are involved in a variety of biological roles and are a component of lipid rafts found in cell plasma membranes (PMs). Gangliosides are especially abundant in neuronal PMs and are essential to their physiological functions. However, the dynamic behaviors of gangliosides have not been investigated in living cells due to a lack of fluorescent probes that behave like their parental molecules. We have recently developed, using an entirely chemical method, four new ganglioside probes (GM1, GM2, GM3, and GD1b) that act similarly to their parental molecules in terms of raft partitioning and binding affinity. Using single fluorescent-molecule imaging, we have found that ganglioside probes dynamically enter and leave rafts featuring CD59, a GPI-anchored protein. This occurs both before and after stimulation. The residency time of our ganglioside probes in rafts with CD59 oligomers was 48ms, after stimulation. The residency times in CD59 homodimer and monomer rafts were 40ms and 12ms, respectively. In this review, we introduce an entirely chemical-based ganglioside analog synthesis method and describe its application in single-molecule imaging and for the study of the dynamic behavior of gangliosides in cell PMs. Finally, we discuss how raft domains are formed, both before and after receptor engagement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Neuro-glycoscience, edited by Kenji Kadomatsu and Hiroshi Kitagawa.

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Enhanced soluble production of cholera toxin B subunit in Escherichia coli by co-expression of SKP chaperones.

The cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) is a nontoxic portion of the cholera toxin that retains mucosal adjuvant properties. Expression of CTB in Escherichia coli is difficult as CTB aggregates and accumulates as insoluble inclusion bodies. To remedy this problem, the periplasmic chaperone, SKP, was investigated as possible co-expression partner to increase the solubility of recombinant CTB (rCTB) in E. coli. The result showed co-expression of SKP enhanced the soluble expression of rCTB in E. coli. Moreover, soluble rCTB was successfully expressed and secreted into the periplasmic space through the direction of the LTB leader signal. rCTB in periplasm was purified using an immobilized d-galactose resin; GM1-ELISA experiments showed that rCTB retains strong GM1 ganglioside-binding activity. Intranasal administration of ovalbumin (OVA) with rCTB significantly induced both mucosal and humoral immune responses specific to OVA. These data indicate that co-expression of the molecular chaperone SKP with CTB increased the solubility of rCTB while maintaining its function.

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Impact of the Niemann-Pick c1 Gene Mutation on the Total Cellular Glycomics of CHO Cells.

Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is an autosomal recessive lipid storage disorder, and the majority of cases are caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. In this study, we clarified how a single gene mutation in the NPC1 gene impacts the cellular glycome by analyzing the total glycomic expression profile of Chinese hamster ovary cell mutants defective in the Npc1 gene (Npc1 KO CHO cells). A number of glycomic alterations were identified, including increased expression of lactosylceramide, GM1, GM2, GD1, various neolacto-series glycosphingolipids, and sialyl-T (O-glycan), which was found to be the major sialylated protein-bound glycan, as well as various N-glycans, which were commonly both fucosylated and sialylated. We also observed significant increases in the total amounts of free oligosaccharides (fOSs), especially in the unique complex- and hybrid-type fOSs. Treatment of Npc1 KO CHO cells with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPBCD), which can reduce cholesterol and glycosphingolipid (GSL) storage, did not affect the glycomic alterations observed in the GSL-, N-, and O-glycans of Npc1 KO CHO cells. However, HPBCD treatment corrected the glycomic alterations observed in fOSs to levels observed in wild-type cells.

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New insight into the interaction of TRAF2 C-terminal domain with lipid raft microdomains.

In this study we provide the first evidence of the interaction of a truncated-TRAF2 with lipid raft microdomains. We have analyzed this interaction by measuring the diffusion coefficient of the protein in large and giant unilamellar vesicles (LUVs and GUVs, respectively) obtained both from synthetic lipid mixtures and from natural extracts. Steady-state fluorescence measurements performed with synthetic vesicles indicate that this truncated form of TRAF2 displays a tighter binding to raft-like LUVs with respect to the control (POPC-containing LUVs), and that this process depends on the protein oligomeric state. Generalized Polarization measurements and spectral phasor analysis revealed that truncated-TRAF2 affects the membrane fluidity, especially when vesicles are heated up at physiological temperature. The addition of nanomolar concentration of TRAF2 in GUVs also seems to exert a mechanical action, as demonstrated by the formation of intraluminal vesicles, a process in which ganglioside GM1 plays a crucial role.

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