Ceramide accumulation uncovers a cycling pathway for the cis-Golgi network marker, infectious bronchitis virus M protein

Michael Maceyka, Carolyn E. Machamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The M glycoprotein from the avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), contains information for localization to the cis-Golgi network in its first transmembrane domain. We hypothesize that localization to the Golgi complex may depend in part on specific interactions between protein transmembrane domains and membrane lipids. Because the site of sphingolipid synthesis overlaps the localization of IBV M, we asked whether perturbation of sphingolipids affected localization of IBV M. Short-term treatment with two inhibitors of sphingolipid synthesis had no effect on localization of IBV M or other Golgi markers. Thus, ongoing synthesis of these lipids was not required for proper localization. Surprisingly, a third inhibitor, d,1- threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (PDMP), shifted the steady-state distribution of IBV M from the Golgi complex to the ER. This effect was rapid and reversible and was also observed for ERGIC-53 but not for Golgi stack proteins. At the concentration of PDMP used, conversion of ceramide into both glucosylceramide and sphingomyelin was inhibited. Pretreatment with upstream inhibitors partially reversed the effects of PDMP, suggesting that ceramide accumulation mediates the PDMP-induced alterations. Indeed, an increase in cellular ceramide was measured in PDMP-treated cells. We propose that IBV M is at least in part localized by retrieval mechanisms. Further, ceramide accumulation reveals this cycle by upsetting the balance of anterograde and retrograde traffic and/or disrupting retention by altering bilayer dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1418
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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