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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Mar;20(5):1507-14.

Caveolin 1-mediated regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase-associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity by ceramide.

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  • 1Cancer Biology Program, Mayer Cancer Biology Research Laboratory, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5468, USA.


Previous studies have indicated that proapoptotic stresses downregulate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase [PI(3)K]/Akt survival pathway via the activation of acid-sphingomyelinase (A-SMase) and ceramide production. Ceramide induces apoptosis and inhibits PI(3)K activity without altering expression, association, or phosphorylation of receptors, adapter proteins, or PI(3)K subunits. PI(3)K inhibition by ceramide is associated with recruitment of caveolin 1 to PI(3)K-associated receptor complexes within lipid raft microdomains. Overexpression of caveolin 1 alone is sufficient to alter PI(3)K activity and sensitizes fibroblasts to ceramide-induced cell death. Most importantly, antisense expression of caveolin 1 dramatically reduces ceramide-induced PI(3)K deregulation and results in a loss-of-function stress response similar to that in A-SMase-deficient cells. Stress-induced recruitment of caveolin 1 to receptor complexes was found to be dependent on A-SMase since cell lines deficient in A-SMase did not exhibit caveolin 1 association with PI(3)K receptor complexes. Thus, a genetic link between A-SMase activation and caveolin 1-induced inhibition of PI(3)K activity exists. These results led us to propose that stress-induced changes in raft microdomains lead to altered receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction through the modulation of caveolin 1 by ceramide.

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