Metabolic studies of glycosphingolipid accumulation in mucopolysaccharidosis IIID

Sean S. Liour, Margaret Z. Jones, Minoru Suzuki, Erhard Bieberich, Robert K Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Severe neurological deficits and mental retardation are frequently associated with disrupted ganglioside metabolism in a variety of gangliosidoses and lysosomal storage disorders. Accumulation of glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and animals affected with several types of mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) also correlates with the severity of neurological dysfunstion. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIID (MPS IIID) is characterized by deficiency in lysosomal N-acetylglucosamine 6-sulfatase activity and the accumulation and excretion of heparan sulfates and N-acetylglucosamine 6-sulfate. We investigated the metabolism of GSLs in the prenatal, neonatal, and adult MPS IIID caprine brains and an MPS experimental cell culture model. The amounts of total glycolipids in prenatal, neonatal, and adult MPS IIID caprine brains were about 2-fold higher than those in control samples. GM3, GD3, and lactosyl ceramide were the principal GSLs which abnormally accumulated in caprine MPS IIID brains. These changes may be, in part, due to the reduction of sialidase and UDP-N:acetylgalactosamine:GM3 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase (GalNAc-T) activities in MPS IIID caprine brain. To further examine the possible mechanism of GSL accumulation in MPS IIID brains, we employed a cell culture model using suramin-treated neuronal cultures of differentiated P19 cells. HPTLC analysis showed elevated GSLs in suramin-treated cells. Metabolic pulsechase labeling study revealed that the GSL accumulation in suramin-treated cells may be attributed to both disturbed biosynthesis and significantly slower degradation of GSLs. In addition, the consistency of observations in the cell culture and caprine models supports the cell culture system as a means of evaluating GSL metabolic perturbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Glycosphingolipids
  • Lysosomal storage
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Neurological disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology


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