Peter Jackson, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Lipid composition affects the biophysical properties of membranes that provide a platform for receptor-mediated cellular signaling. To study the regulatory role of membrane lipid composition, we combined genetic perturbations of sphingolipid metabolism with the quantification of diverse steps in Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling and mass spectrometry-based lipidomics. Membrane lipid composition was broadly affected by these perturbations, revealing a circular network of coregulated sphingolipids and glycerophospholipids. This evolutionarily conserved network architecture simultaneously reflected membrane lipid metabolism, subcellular localization, and adaptation mechanisms. Integration of the diverse TLR-induced inflammatory phenotypes with changes in lipid abundance assigned distinct functional roles to individual lipid species organized across the network. This functional annotation accurately predicted the inflammatory response of cells derived from patients suffering from lipid storage disorders, based solely on their altered membrane lipid composition. The analytical strategy described here empowers the understanding of higher-level organization of membrane lipid function in diverse biological systems.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.051
View details for Web of Science ID 000357542300018
View details for PubMedID 26095250
Lipid metabolism and receptor-mediated signaling are highly intertwined processes that cooperate to fulfill cellular functions and safeguard cellular homeostasis. Activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) leads to a complex cellular response, orchestrating a diverse range of inflammatory events that need to be tightly controlled. Here, we identified the GPI-anchored Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase, Acid-Like 3B (SMPDL3B) in a mass spectrometry screening campaign for membrane proteins co-purifying with TLRs. Deficiency of Smpdl3b in macrophages enhanced responsiveness to TLR stimulation and profoundly changed the cellular lipid composition and membrane fluidity. Increased cellular responses could be reverted by re-introducing affected ceramides, functionally linking membrane lipid composition and innate immune signaling. Finally, Smpdl3b-deficient mice displayed an intensified inflammatory response in TLR-dependent peritonitis models, establishing its negative regulatory role in vivo. Taken together, our results identify the membrane-modulating enzyme SMPDL3B as a negative regulator of TLR signaling that functions at the interface of membrane biology and innate immunity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000357393500008
View details for PubMedID 26095358