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Neuropharmacology. 2012 Sep;63(4):524-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.04.026. Epub 2012 May 8.

New signalling pathway involved in the anti-proliferative action of vitamin D₃ and its analogues in human neuroblastoma cells. A role for ceramide kinase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Florence, Viale GB Morgagni 50, 50134 Firenze, Italy.

Abstract

1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)₂D₃), a crucial regulator of calcium/phosphorus homeostasis, has important physiological effects on growth and differentiation in a variety of malignant and non-malignant cells. Synthetic structural hormone analogues, with lower hypercalcemic side effects, are currently under clinical investigation. Sphingolipids appear to be crucial bioactive factors in the control of the cell fate: the phosphorylated forms, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P), are mitogenic factors, whereas sphingosine and ceramide (Cer) usually act as pro-apoptotic agents. Although many studies correlate S1P function to impaired cell growth, the relevance of C1P/Cer system and its involvement in neuroblastoma cells remain to be clarified. Here, we demonstrated the anti-proliferative effect of 1,25(OH)₂D₃ as well as of its structural analogues, ZK156979 and ZK191784, in human SH-SY5Y cells, as judged by [³H]thymidine incorporation, cell growth and evaluation of active ERK1/2 levels. The inhibition of ceramide kinase (CerK), the enzyme responsible for C1P synthesis, by specific gene silencing or pharmacological inhibition, drastically reduced cell proliferation. 1,25(OH)₂D₃ and ZK191784 treatment induced a significant decrease in CerK expression and C1P content, and an increase of Cer. Notably, the treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with ZK159222, antagonist of 1,25(OH)₂D₃ receptor, trichostatin A, inhibitor of histone deacetylases, and COUP-TFI-siRNA prevented the decrease of CerK expression elicited by 1,25(OH)₂D₃ supporting the involvement of VDR/COUP-TFI/histone deacetylase complex in CerK regulation. Altogether, these findings provide the first evidence that CerK/C1P axis acts as molecular effector of the anti-proliferative action of 1,25(OH)₂D₃ and its analogues, thereby representing a new possible target for anti-cancer therapy of human neuroblastoma.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22579669
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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