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Sphingosine and Sphingosine Kinase 1 Involvement in Endocytic Membrane Trafficking.

Lima S., Milstien S., Spiegel S.

The balance between cholesterol and sphingolipids within the plasma membrane has long been implicated in endocytic membrane trafficking. However, in contrast to cholesterol functions, little is still known about the roles of sphingolipids and their metabolites. Perturbing the cholesterol/sphingomyelin balance was shown to induce narrow tubular plasma membrane invaginations enriched with sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1), the enzyme that converts the bioactive sphingolipid metabolite sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate, and suggested a role for sphingosine phosphorylation in endocytic membrane trafficking. Here we show that sphingosine and sphingosine-like SphK1 inhibitors induced rapid and massive formation of vesicles in diverse cell types that accumulated as dilated late endosomes. However, much smaller vesicles were formed in SphK1-deficient cells. Moreover, inhibition or deletion of SphK1 prolonged the lifetime of sphingosine-induced vesicles. Perturbing the plasma membrane cholesterol/sphingomyelin balance abrogated vesicle formation. This massive endosomal influx was accompanied by dramatic recruitment of the intracellular SphK1 and Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs domain-containing proteins endophilin-A2 and endophilin-B1 to enlarged endosomes and formation of highly dynamic filamentous networks containing endophilin-B1 and SphK1. Together, our results highlight the importance of sphingosine and its conversion to sphingosine-1-phosphate by SphK1 in endocytic membrane trafficking.

J. Biol. Chem. 292:3074-3088(2017) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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