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  • C26-Ceramide as highly sensitive biomarker for the diagnosis of Farber Disease

    Farber disease (FD) is a rare autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the acid ceramidase gene (ASAH1). Low ceramidase activity results in the accumulation of fatty substances, mainly ceramides. Hallmark symptoms at clinical level are periarticular nodules, lipogranulomas, swollen and painful joints and a hoarse voice. FD phenotypes are heterogeneous varying from mild to very severe cases, with the patients not surviving past their first year of life. This study has the highest number of enrolled Farber patients and carriers reported to present. Liquid chromatography multiple reaction mass spectrometry (LC/MRM-MS) studies revealed that the ceramide C26:0 and especially its isoform 1 is a highly sensitive and specific biomarker for FD (p < 0.0001). The new biomarker can be determined directly in the dried blood spot extracts with low sample consumption. This allows for easy sample preparation, high reproducibility and use in high throughput screenings.

  • Increased regenerative capacity of the olfactory epithelium in Niemann–Pick disease type C1

    Niemann–Pick disease type C1 (NPC1) is a fatal neurovisceral lysosomal lipid storage disorder. The mutation of the NPC1 protein affects the homeostasis and transport of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids from late endosomes/lysosomes to the endoplasmic reticulum resulting in progressive neurodegeneration. Since olfactory impairment is one of the earliest symptoms in many neurodegenerative disorders, we focused on alterations of the olfactory epithelium in an NPC1 mouse model. Based on immunohistochemical evaluation of the olfactory epithelium, we analyzed the impact of neurodegeneration in the olfactory epithelium of NPC1-/- mice and observed considerable loss of mature olfactory receptor neurons as well as an increased number of proliferating and apoptotic cells.

  • AMPA-receptor specific biogenesis complexes control synaptic transmission and intellectual ability

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs), key elements in excitatory neurotransmission in the brain, are macromolecular complexes whose properties and cellular functions are determined by the co-assembled constituents of their proteome. Here we identify AMPAR complexes that transiently form in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and lack the core-subunits typical for AMPARs in the plasma membrane. Central components of these ER AMPARs are the proteome constituents FRRS1l (C9orf4) and CPT1c that specifically and cooperatively bind to the pore-forming GluA1-4 proteins of AMPARs. Our results provide insight into the early biogenesis of AMPARs and demonstrate its pronounced impact on synaptic transmission and brain function.