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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 May;1833(5):1006-16. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.01.001. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Sphingosine kinase 1 expression is downregulated during differentiation of Friend cells due to decreased c-MYB.

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiological Laboratory Science, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) overexpression in malignant cells has been reported. Mouse Friend cells showed higher SPHK1 but not SPHK2 expression compared with other mouse cell lines. A Sphk1 promoter analysis demonstrated the region between -53bp and the first exon as the minimal promoter. Further promoter truncation revealed the importance of a MYB-binding site. EMSA using this region as the probe demonstrated one band containing c-MYB protein, and its intensity decreased during erythroid differentiation with hexamethylane bisacetamide (HMBA), a potent inducer of erythroid differentiation of Friend cells. ChIP assay also revealed in vivo binding of c-MYB. c-MYB overexpression and siRNA for c-Myb affected SPHK1 expression, confirming the important regulatory role of c-MYB in SPHK1 expression. HMBA reduced c-MYB expression rapidly. Induced differentiation by HMBA caused a marked and rapid reduction of SPHK1 mRNA, protein and enzyme activity leading to the rapid decrease of cellular sphingosine 1-phosphate level. Moreover, terminally differentiated cells did not resume SPHK1 expression. Compared with original Friend cells, stable overexpression of wild-type SPHK1 showed higher cell proliferation, resistance to cell death by serum depletion. Interestingly, HMBA-induced differentiation of these cells was delayed but not completely suppressed. In contrast, SPHK inhibitor and its siRNA inhibited cell growth and enhanced HMBA-induced differentiation significantly, suggesting that SPHK1 delayed HMBA-induced differentiation by its cell proliferation-promoting activity. Effects of pertussis toxin, a G-protein-coupled receptor inhibitor, and S1P receptor antagonist on Friend cell growth and differentiation were negligible, suggesting the importance of the intracellular SPHK1/S1P signaling in Friend cells.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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