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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The epidermal growth factor stimulates sphingosine kinase-1 expression and activity in the human mammary carcinoma cell line MCF7.

Sphingosine 1-phosphate ( S1P) the product of sphingosine kinase (SK) action plays an important role in various pathological conditions like inflammation and cancer. In this study, we show that in the human breast cancer cell line MCF7, epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulates SK-1 activity in a biphasic manner with a first peak after 15 min and a second delayed activation occurring after 1 h up to 18 h and thereafter declining again. This delayed activation is accompanied by increased mRNA and protein expression of SK-1, but not SK-2. Mechanistically, the transcriptional upregulation is dependent on the classical mitogen-activated protein kinase, protein kinase C (PKC) and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase, since specific inhibitors of these enzymes all abolish the EGF- induced mRNA upregulation and activity of SK-1. Moreover, dexamethasone also suppressed EGF- induced SK-1 mRNA expression and activity which is reversed by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486. To see whether EGF- induced upregulation of SK-1 is of relevance for tumor progression, we investigated two hallmarks of carcinogenesis, i.e., cell proliferation and migration. Stimulation of cells with EGF leads to enhanced [(3)H]thymidine incorporation into DNA and also to stimulated migration in a modified Boyden chamber assay. When cells are depleted of SK-1, but not SK-2, by siRNA transfection or by dexamethasone treatment, EGF-induced proliferation and migration are drastically reduced. In summary, these data show that EGF causes an acute stimulation of SK-1 activity and, moreover, triggers a delayed SK activation which is due to increased gene transcription and de novo synthesis of SK-1, which in turn directs cells towards growth and increased motility. Thus, the sphingosine kinase-1 may represent a novel attractive target for cancer therapy.[1]


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