Ceramide-mediated Macroautophagy Involves Inhibition of Protein Kinase B and Up-regulation of Beclin 1
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The sphingolipid ceramide is involved in the cellular stress response. Here we demonstrate that ceramide controls macroautophagy, a major lysosomal catabolic pathway. Exogenous C 2 -ceramide stimulates macroautophagy (proteolysis and accumulation of autophagic vacuoles) in the human colon cancer HT-29 cells by increasing the endogenous pool of long chain ceramides as demonstrated by the use of the ceramide synthase inhibitor fumonisin B 1 . Ceramide reverted the interleukin 13-dependent
... on of macroautophagy by interfering with the activation of protein kinase B. In addition, C 2 -ceramide stimulated the expression of the autophagy gene product beclin 1. Ceramide is also the mediator of the tamoxifen-dependent accumulation of autophagic vacuoles in the human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Monodansylcadaverine staining and electron microscopy showed that this accumulation was abrogated by myriocin, an inhibitor of de novo synthesis ceramide. The tamoxifen-dependent accumulation of vacuoles was mimicked by 1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol, an inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase. 1-Phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol, tamoxifen, and C 2 -ceramide stimulated the expression of beclin 1, whereas myriocin antagonized the tamoxifendependent up-regulation. Tamoxifen and C 2 -ceramide interfere with the activation of protein kinase B, whereas myriocin relieved the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen. In conclusion, the control of macroautophagy by ceramide provides a novel function for this lipid mediator in a cell process with major biological outcomes.