Sphingomyelin is a dominant sphingolipid in mammalian cells. Its production in the trans-Golgi traps cholesterol synthesized in the ER to promote formation of a sphingomyelin/sterol gradient along the secretory pathway. This gradient marks a fundamental transition in physical membrane properties that help specify organelle identify and function. We previously identified mutations in sphingomyelin synthase SMS2 that cause osteoporosis and skeletal dysplasia. Here we show that SMS2 variants linked to the most severe bone phenotypes retain full enzymatic activity but fail to leave the ER owing to a defective autonomous ER export signal. Cells harboring pathogenic SMS2 variants accumulate sphingomyelin in the ER and display a disrupted transbilayer sphingomyelin asymmetry. These aberrant sphingomyelin distributions also occur in patient-derived fibroblasts and are accompanied by imbalances in cholesterol organization, glycerophospholipid profiles and lipid order in the secretory pathway. We postulate that pathogenic SMS2 variants undermine the capacity of osteogenic cells to uphold nonrandom lipid distributions that are critical for their bone forming activity.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file. Source Data files have been provided for Figures 2-4, 7-9 and Appendix 1 - figure 3.
- Joost CM Holthuis
- Joost CM Holthuis
- Jacob Piehler
- Christopher G Burd
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Arun Radhakrishnan, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States
- Received: April 6, 2022
- Accepted: September 13, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 14, 2022 (version 1)
© 2022, Sokoya 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.
Activating mutations in the Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause Parkinson's disease and previously we showed that activated LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases (Steger et al., 2017). Moreover, Golgi-associated Rab29 can recruit LRRK2 to the surface of the Golgi and activate it there for both auto- and Rab substrate phosphorylation. Here we define the precise Rab29 binding region of the LRRK2 Armadillo domain between residues 360-450 and show that this domain, termed 'Site #1', can also bind additional LRRK2 substrates, Rab8A and Rab10. Moreover, we identify a distinct, N-terminal, higher affinity interaction interface between LRRK2 phosphorylated Rab8 and Rab10 termed 'Site #2', that can retain LRRK2 on membranes in cells to catalyze multiple, subsequent phosphorylation events. Kinase inhibitor washout experiments demonstrate that rapid recovery of kinase activity in cells depends on the ability of LRRK2 to associate with phosphorylated Rab proteins, and phosphorylated Rab8A stimulates LRRK2 phosphorylation of Rab10 in vitro. Reconstitution of purified LRRK2 recruitment onto planar lipid bilayers decorated with Rab10 protein demonstrates cooperative association of only active LRRK2 with phospho-Rab10-containing membrane surfaces. These experiments reveal a feed-forward pathway that provides spatial control and membrane activation of LRRK2 kinase activity.
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