2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Chemistry, 119999 Moscow, Russia
3Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia
4Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142432 Chernogolovka, Moscow Region, Russia
*To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received March 7, 2019; Revised June 17, 2019; Accepted June 17, 2019
The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the content of sphingoid bases - sphingosine (SPH), sphinganine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate (SPH-1-P) - and in expression of genes encoding enzymes involved in their metabolism in the brain structures (hippocampus, cortex, and cerebellum) and spinal cord of transgenic FUS(1-359) mice. FUS(1-359) mice are characterized by motor impairments and can be used as a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Lipids from the mouse brain structures and spinal cord after 2, 3, and 4 months of disease development were analyzed by chromatography/mass spectrometry, while changes in the expression of the SPHK1, SPHK2, SGPP2, SGPL1, ASAH1, and ASAH2 genes were assayed using RNA sequencing. The levels of SPH and sphinganine (i.e., sphingoid bases with pronounced pro-apoptotic properties) were dramatically increased in the spinal cord at the terminal stage of the disease. The ratio of the anti-apoptotic SPH-1-P to SPH and sphinganine sharply reduced, indicating massive apoptosis of spinal cord cells. Significant changes in the content of SPH and SPH-1-P and in the expression of genes related to their metabolism were found at the terminal ALS stage in the spinal cord. Expression of the SGPL gene (SPH-1-P lyase) was strongly activated, while expression of the SGPP2 (SPH-1-P phosphatase) gene was reduced. Elucidation ofmechanisms for the regulation of sphingolipid metabolism in ALS will help to identify molecular targets for the new-generation drugs.
KEY WORDS: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sphingosine, sphingosine-1-phosphate, SPHK2, SGPP2, SGPL1, ASAH1, ASAH2