Cytosolic Glucosylceramide regulates endolysosomal function in Niemann-Pick type C disease
Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPCD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with increases in cellular cholesterol and glycolipids and most commonly caused by defective NPC1, a late endosomal protein. Using ratiometric probes we find that NPCD cells show increased endolysosomal pH. In addition U18666A, an inhibitor of NPC1, was found to increase endolysosomal pH, and the number, size and heterogeneity of endolysosomal vesicles. NPCD fibroblasts and cells treated with U18666A also show disrupted targeting of fluorescent lipid BODIPY-LacCer to high pH vesicles. Inhibiting non-lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GBA2) reversed increases in endolysosomal pH and restored disrupted BODIPY-LacCer trafficking in NPCD fibroblasts. GBA2 KO cells also show decreased endolysosomal pH. NPCD fibroblasts also show increased expression of a key subunit of the lysosomal proton pump vATPase on GBA2 inhibition. The results are consistent with a model where both endolysosomal pH and Golgi targeting of BODIPY-LacCer are dependent on adequate levels of cytosolic-facing GlcCer, which are reduced in NPC disease.
A new paradigm for Niemann-Pick C disease is presented where lysosomal storage leads to a deficit in cytoplasmic glucosylceramide (GlcCer) where it performs important functions. Previously it had been reported that Gaucher cells have defective endolysosomal pH. GlcCer also accumulates in Niemann-Pick C disease and also shows this defect. Niemann-Pick C cells were found to have reduced cytoplasmic glucosylceramide (GlcCer) transport. Inhibiting cytoplasmic glucocerebrosidase (GBA2), increased GlcCer, decreased endolysosomal pH in normal cells, reversed increases in endolysosomal pH and restored disrupted BODIPY-LacCer trafficking and increased expression of vATPase a subunit in Niemann-Pick C fibroblasts. The results are consistent with a model where both endolysosomal pH and Golgi targeting of BODIPY-LacCer are dependent on adequate levels of cytosolic GlcCer which are reduced in NPC disease. This work consequently suggests GBA2 and vATPase as new therapeutic targets in Niemann-Pick C and related neurodegenerative diseases. The work was in collaboration with colleagues in the Netherlands and Leicester University. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Wheeler, S., Haberkant, P., Bhardwaj, M., Tongue, P., Ferraz, M.J., Halter, D., Sprong, H., Schmid, R., Aerts, J.M.F.G, Sullo, N. and Sillence DJ. (2019) Cytosolic glucosylceramide regulates endolysosomal function in Niemann-Pick type C disease. Neurobiology of Disease, 127,pp. 242-252
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester School of Pharmacy