Skip Header

You are using a version of browser that may not display all the features of this website. Please consider upgrading your browser.

Effect of saposins A and C on the enzymatic hydrolysis of liposomal glucosylceramide.

Vaccaro A.M., Tatti M., Ciaffoni F., Salvioli R., Barca A., Scerch C.

The degradation of glucosylceramide in lysosomes is accomplished by glucosylceramidase with the assistance of, at least, another protein, saposin C (Sap C), which is generated from a large precursor together with three other similar proteins, saposins A, B, and D. In the present study, we have examined the effects of saposins on the enzymatic hydrolysis of glucosylceramide inserted in large and small phospholipid liposomes. The glucosylceramide contained in large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) was degraded by glucosylceramidase at a rate 7-8-fold lower than glucosylceramide inserted in small unilamellar vesicles (SUV). The separate addition of either Sap A or Sap C to the LUV system partially stimulated the sphingolipid degradation while saposins B and D had no effect. In the presence of both Sap A and Sap C, the rate of sphingolipid degradation was higher than the sum of the rates with the two saposins individually, indicating synergism in their actions. The stimulatory effect of the two saposins depended on the incorporation of an acidic phospholipid such as phosphatidylserine (PS) into LUV. The characteristics of glucosylceramidase activation by Sap C were different from those of Sap A. Sap C increased the rate of hydrolysis of both the artificial water soluble substrate, 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside, and the lipid substrate, glucosylceramide, while Sap A only stimulated degradation of the sphingolipid. Also the binding properties of Saps A and C were markedly different. At acidic pH values, Sap C bound to PS-containing LUV and promoted the association of glucosylceramidase with the membrane. In contrast, Sap A had poor affinity for the membrane even in the presence of glucosylceramide; moreover, Sap A did not potentiate the capacity of Sap C to mediate glucosylceramidase binding. In conclusion, our results show that both Sap A and Sap C are required for maximal hydrolysis of glucosylceramide inserted in PS-containing LUV, that their effects are synergistic, and that their mode of action is different. Sap C is responsible for the membrane binding of glucosylceramidase, while Sap A stimulation is possibly related to its effect on the conformation of the enzyme. It can be envisaged that Sap A in conjunction with Sap C might have a physiological role in glucosylceramide degradation.

J. Biol. Chem. 272:16862-16867(1997) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

UniProt is an ELIXIR core data resource
Main funding by: National Institutes of Health

We'd like to inform you that we have updated our Privacy Notice to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies since 25 May 2018.

Do not show this banner again