Detergent-resistant microdomains determine the localization of sigma-1 receptors to the endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria junction.
Hayashi T, Fujimoto M
Mol Pharmacol (2010) 77: 517-528.
Category: endoplasmic reticulum, lipids, mitochondria, mitochondria-biogenesis, mitochondria-morphology ¤ Added: Mar 16, 2012 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) that bind diverse synthetic and endogenous compounds have been implicated in the pathophysiology of several human diseases such as drug addiction, depression, neurodegenerative disorders, pain-related disorders, and cancer. Sig-1Rs were identified recently as novel ligand-operated molecular chaperones. Although Sig-1Rs are predominantly expressed at endoplasmic reticulum (ER) subdomains apposing mitochondria [i.e., the mitochondria-associated ER membrane (MAM)], they dynamically change the cellular distribution, thus regulating both MAM-specific and plasma membrane proteins. However, what determines the location of Sig-1R at the MAM and how the receptor translocation is initiated is unknown. Here we report that the detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) play an important role in anchoring Sig-1Rs to the MAM. The MAM, which is highly capable of accumulating ceramides, is enriched with both cholesterol and simple sphingolipids, thus forming Triton X-114-resistant DRMs. Sig-1Rs associate with MAM-derived DRMs but not with those from microsomes. A lipid overlay assay found that solubilized Sig-1Rs preferentially associate with simple sphingolipids such as ceramides. Disrupting DRMs by lowering cholesterol or inhibiting de novo synthesis of ceramides at the ER largely decreases Sig-1R at DRMs and causes translocation of Sig-1R from the MAM to ER cisternae. These findings suggest that the MAM, bearing cholesterol and ceramide-enriched microdomains at the ER, may use the microdomains to anchor Sig-1Rs to the location; thus, it serves to stage Sig-1R at ER-mitochondria junctions.