Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 48, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

Click and count: specific detection of acid ceramidase activity in live cells

Author affiliations

Abstract

The use of intact cells in medical research offers a number of advantages over employing cell-free systems. In diagnostics, cells isolated from liquid biopsies can be directly used, speeding up the time of analysis and diminishing the risk of protein degradation by sample manipulation. In drug discovery, studies in live cells take into account aspects neglected in cell-free systems, such as uptake, metabolization, and subcellular concentration by compartmentalization of potential drug candidates. Therefore, probes for studies in cellulo are of paramount importance. Acid ceramidase (AC) is a lysosomal enzyme that hydrolyses ceramides into sphingoid bases and fatty acids. The essential role of this enzyme in the outburst and progress of several diseases, some of them still incurable, is well sustained. Despite the great clinical relevance of AC as a biomarker and therapeutic target, the specific monitoring of AC activity in live cells has remained elusive due to the concomitant existence of neutral and alkaline ceramidases. In this work, we report that 1-deoxydihydroceramides are exclusively hydrolysed by AC. Using N-octanoyl-18-azidodeoxysphinganine as a probe and a BODIPY-substituted bicyclononyne, we show the click-reliant predominant staining of lysosomes, with extra-lysosomal labeling also occurring in some cells. Importantly, using pharmacological and genetic tools together with high resolution mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that both lysosomal and extra-lysosomal staining are AC-dependent. These findings are translated into the specific flow cytometry monitoring of AC activity in intact cells, which fills an important gap in the field of diseases linked to altered AC activity.

Graphical abstract: Click and count: specific detection of acid ceramidase activity in live cells

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Jun 2020
Accepted
16 Oct 2020
First published
22 Oct 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 13044-13051
Article type
Edge Article

Click and count: specific detection of acid ceramidase activity in live cells

M. Casasampere, E. Izquierdo, J. Casas, J. L. Abad, X. Liu, R. Xu, C. Mao, Y. Chang, A. Delgado and G. Fabrias, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 13044
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC03166F

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements