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The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders. CLN8 deficiency causes a subtype of NCL, referred to as CLN8 disease. CLN8 is an ER resident protein with unknown function; however, a role in ceramide metabolism has been suggested. In this report, we identified PP2A and its biological inhibitor I2PP2A as interacting proteins of CLN8. PP2A is one of the major serine/threonine phosphatases in cells and governs a wide range of signaling pathways by dephosphorylating critical signaling molecules. We showed that the phosphorylation levels of several substrates of PP2A, namely Akt, S6 kinase, and GSK3β, were decreased in CLN8 disease patient fibroblasts. This reduction can be reversed by inhibiting PP2A phosphatase activity with cantharidin, suggesting a higher PP2A activity in CLN8-deficient cells. Since ceramides are known to bind and influence the activity of PP2A and I2PP2A, we further examined whether ceramide levels in the CLN8-deficient cells were changed. Interestingly, the ceramide levels were reduced by 60% in CLN8 disease patient cells compared to controls. Furthermore, we observed that the conversion of ER-localized NBD-C6-ceramide to glucosylceramide and sphingomyelin in the Golgi apparatus was not affected in CLN8-deficient cells, indicating transport of ceramides from ER to the Golgi apparatus was normal. A model of how CLN8 along with ceramides affects I2PP2A and PP2A binding and activities is proposed.
PMID: 30453012 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]