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J Biol Chem. 2001 Sep 21;276(38):35258-64. Epub 2001 Jul 6.

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator regulates uptake of sphingoid base phosphates and lysophosphatidic acid: modulation of cellular activity of sphingosine 1-phosphate.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Administration Hospital, Charleston, South Carolina 29401-5799, USA.


Sphingolipids have been implicated in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and programmed cell death. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (SPP) has recently emerged as an important lipid messenger and a ligand for the endothelial differentiation gene receptor family of proteins through which it mediates its biologic effects. Recent studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in our laboratory implicated the yeast oligomycin resistance gene (YOR1), a member of the ATP binding cassette family of proteins, in the transport of SPP. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator is a unique member of the ATP binding cassette transporter family and has high homology with YOR1. We therefore set out to investigate if this member of the family can regulate SPP transport. We demonstrate that C127/cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) cells, expressing wild type CFTR, exhibited significantly higher uptake of sphingosine 1-phosphate than either cells expressing a mutant CFTR C127/DeltaF508 or C127/mock-transfected cells. This effect was specific, dose-dependent, and competed off by dihydrosphingosine 1-phosphate and lysophosphatidic acid. There was no difference in uptake of sphingosine, C(16)-ceramide, sphingomyelin, lysophingomyelin, phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine, or phosphatidic acid among the different cell lines. Pretreatment with forskolin or isobutylmethylxanthine to stimulate cAMP did not affect the uptake in any of the cell lines. Moreover, we found that mitogen-activated protein kinase activation by SPP was less responsive in C127/CFTR as compared with C127/mock-transfected cells, suggesting that uptake of SPP by CFTR may divert it from interacting with its cell surface receptors and attenuate signaling functions. Taken together, these data implicate CFTR in uptake of SPP and the related phosphorylated lipids dihydrosphingosine 1-phosphate and lysophosphatidic acid. This uptake influences the availability of SPP to modulate biologic activity via endothelial differentiation gene receptors. These studies may have important implications to cystic fibrosis.

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