A selective inhibitor of ceramide synthase 1 reveals a novel role in fat metabolism

Nigel Turner*, Xin Ying Lim, Hamish D. Toop, Brenna Osborne, Amanda E. Brandon, Elysha N. Taylor, Corrine E. Fiveash, Hemna Govindaraju, Jonathan D. Teo, Holly P. McEwen, Timothy A. Couttas, Stephen M. Butler, Abhirup Das, Greg M. Kowalski, Clinton R. Bruce, Kyle L. Hoehn, Thomas Fath, Carsten Schmitz-Peiffer, Gregory J. Cooney, Magdalene K. MontgomeryJonathan C. Morris, Anthony S. Don

*Corresponding author for this work

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Specific forms of the lipid ceramide, synthesized by the ceramide synthase enzyme family, are believed to regulate metabolic physiology. Genetic mouse models have established C16 ceramide as a driver of insulin resistance in liver and adipose tissue. C18 ceramide, synthesized by ceramide synthase 1 (CerS1), is abundant in skeletal muscle and suggested to promote insulin resistance in humans. We herein describe the first isoform-specific ceramide synthase inhibitor, P053, which inhibits CerS1 with nanomolar potency. Lipidomic profiling shows that P053 is highly selective for CerS1. Daily P053 administration to mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) increases fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle and impedes increases in muscle triglycerides and adiposity, but does not protect against HFD-induced insulin resistance. Our inhibitor therefore allowed us to define a role for CerS1 as an endogenous inhibitor of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in muscle and regulator of whole-body adiposity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3165
Number of pages14
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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