With pulse-chase study of 1-[14C]stearic acid-labeled cerebroside sulfate (14C-CS) and subsequent subcellular fractionation by Percoll gradient, the metabolism of CS and translocation of its metabolites in human skin fibroblasts from controls, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), and globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) were studied. In control skin fibroblasts, CS was transported to lysosome and metabolized there to galactosylceramide (GalCer) and ceramide (Cer) within 1 h. During the chase period, radioactivity was increased at plasma membrane plus Golgi as phospholipids and no accumulation of GalCer or Cer was found in lysosome. In MLD fibroblasts, 95% of 14C-CS taken up was unhydrolyzed at 24 h-chase and accumulated at not only lysosome but also plasma membrane. In GLD fibroblasts, GalCer was accumulated throughout the subcellular fractions and more accumulated mainly at plasma membrane plus Golgi with longer pulse. This translocation of lipid from lysosome seems to have considerable function, even in lipidosis, which may result in an imbalance of the sphingolipid pattern on the cell surface and these changes might be one of causes of neuronal dysfunction in sphingolipidosis.
K Inui, M Furukawa, S Okada, H Yabuuchi