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The GARP complex is required for cellular sphingolipid homeostasis

  1. Florian Fröhlich
  2. Constance Petit
  3. Nora Kory
  4. Romain Christiano
  5. Hans-Kristian Hannibal-Bach
  6. Morven Graham
  7. Xinran Liu
  8. Christer S Ejsing
  9. Robert V Farese
  10. Tobias C Walther  Is a corresponding author
  1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, United States
  2. University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  3. Yale School of Medicine, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e08712 doi: 10.7554/eLife.08712

Abstract

Sphingolipids are abundant membrane components and important signaling molecules in eukaryotic cells. Their levels and localization are tightly regulated. However, the mechanisms underlying this regulation remain largely unknown. Here, we identify the Golgi-associated retrograde protein (GARP) complex, which functions in endosome-to-Golgi retrograde vesicular transport, as a critical player in sphingolipid homeostasis. GARP deficiency leads to accumulation of sphingolipid synthesis intermediates, changes in sterol distribution and lysosomal dysfunction. A GARP complex mutation analogous to a VPS53 allele causing progressive cerebello-cerebral atrophy type 2 (PCCA2) in humans exhibits similar, albeit weaker, phenotypes in yeast, providing mechanistic insights into disease pathogenesis. Inhibition of the first step of de novo sphingolipid synthesis is sufficient to mitigate many of the phenotypes of GARP-deficient yeast or mammalian cells. Together, these data show that GARP is essential for cellular sphingolipid homeostasis and suggest a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PCCA2.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Florian Fröhlich

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Constance Petit

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Nora Kory

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Romain Christiano

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Hans-Kristian Hannibal-Bach

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, VILLUM Center for Bioanalytical Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Morven Graham

    Center for Cellular and Molecular Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Xinran Liu

    Center for Cellular and Molecular Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Christer S Ejsing

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, VILLUM Center for Bioanalytical Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Robert V Farese

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Tobias C Walther

    Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States
    For correspondence
    twalther@hsph.harvard.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Peter Tontonoz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 14, 2015
  2. Accepted: September 9, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 10, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 12, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Fröhlich et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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