The scientists further found that Spns1 deficiency in cells and preclinical models led to the pathological accumulation of breakdown products of the two lipids inside lysosomes. This accumulation led to various disease states, including signs of increased inflammation.
“Historically, it has been difficult to identify lysosomal lipid transporters, limiting our understanding of the role of the lysosome in lipid metabolism and disease,” said Professor David Silver, the lead senior co-author of the study and Deputy Director of the CVMD Programme at Duke-NUS. “This study provides a framework to investigate how this new transporter works and its role in health and disease.”
“This has been a fantastic collaboration,” said Assistant Professor Federico Torta, a senior co-author of the study from Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. “We helped to clarify the function of Spns1 by integrating the results of our colleagues at Duke-NUS with our lipidomic data. Mass spectrometry-based lipidomics of tissues, cells and isolated lysosomes allowed for the identification of quantitative and qualitative alterations in their lipid composition at high resolution and sensitivity.”