Dihydrosphingomyelin impairs HIV-1 infection by rigidifying liquid-ordered membrane domains

Dihydrosphingomyelin impairs HIV-1 infection by rigidifying liquid-ordered membrane domains

Online publication: 30/07/2010 Printed publication: 30 July 2010 Journal: Chemistry & Biology

Abstract:

The lateral organization of lipids in cell membranes is thought to regulate numerous cell processes. Most studies focus on the coexistence of two fluid phases, the liquid crystalline (l(d)) and the liquid-ordered (l(o)); the putative presence of gel domains (s(o)) is not usually taken into account. We show that in phospholipid:sphingolipid:cholesterol mixtures, in which sphingomyelin (SM) promoted fluid l(o) domains, dihydrosphingomyelin (DHSM) tended to form rigid domains. Genetic and pharmacological blockade of the dihydroceramide desaturase (Des1), which replaced SM with DHSM in cultured cells, inhibited cell infection by replication-competent and -deficient HIV-1. Increased DHSM levels gave rise to more rigid membranes, resistant to the insertion of the gp41 fusion peptide, thus inhibiting viral-cell membrane fusion. These results clarify the function of dihydrosphingolipids in biological membranes and identify Des1 as a potential target in HIV-1 infection.

Authors: Vieira CR, Munoz-Olaya JM, Sot J, Jiménez-Baranda S, Izquierdo-Useros N, Abad JL, Apellániz B, Delgado R, Martinez-Picado J, Alonso A, Casas J, Nieva JL, Fabriás G, Mañes S, Goñi FM.

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