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Heidelberg, Germany

Rabionet M.,Lipid Pathobiochemistry Group | Rabionet M.,German Cancer Research Center | Bayerle A.,Lipid Pathobiochemistry Group | Bayerle A.,German Cancer Research Center | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2013

The lipid-rich stratum corneum functions as a barrier against pathogens and desiccation inter alia by an unbroken meshwork of extracellular lipid lamellae. These lamellae are composed of cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides (Cers) in an equimolar ratio. The huge class of skin Cers consists of three groups: group I, "classical" long and very long chain Cers; group II, ultra-long chain Cers; and group III, ω-esterified ultra-long chain Cers, which are esterified either with linoleic acid or with cornified envelope proteins and are required for the water permeability barrier. Here, we describe 1-O-acylceramides as a new class of epidermal Cers in humans and mice. These Cers contain, in both the N- and 1-O-position, long to very long acyl chains. They derive from the group I of classical Cers and make up 5% of all esterified Cers. Considering their chemical structure and hydrophobic-ity, we presume 1-O-acylceramides to contribute to the water barrier homeostasis. Biosynthesis of 1-O-acylceramides is not dependent on lysosomal phospholipase A2. However, gluco-sylceramide synthase deficiency was followed by a 7-fold increase of 1-O-acylceramides, which then contributed 30% to all esterified Cers. Furthermore, loss of neutral glucosylce-ramidase resulted in decreased levels of a 1-O-acylceramide subgroup. Therefore, we propose 1-O-acylceramides to be synthesized at endoplasmic reticulum-related sites. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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