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Oncogene. 2001 Oct 11;20(46):6752-63.

Kit signaling and negative regulation of daunorubicin-induced apoptosis: role of phospholipase Cgamma.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale E 9910, Institut Claudius Régaud, 20, rue du Pont Saint Pierre, 31052 Toulouse cedex, France. plo@icr.fnclcc.fn


Previous studies have demonstrated that activation of Kit by stem cell factor (SCF), its natural ligand, or by gain-of-function point mutation in its intracellular domain, confers significant protection against apoptosis induced by growth factor deprivation or radiation. However, the effects of Kit activation on the cellular response to anti-tumor agents have not been so extensively documented. This study shows that daunorubicin-induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity were reduced in the murine Ba/F3 cells transfected with Kit (Ba/F3-Kit) in the presence of SCF and in Ba/F3 cells transfected with a constitutively active Kit variant (Ba/F3-KitDelta27), compared to either parental Ba/F3 (Ba/F3-wt) or unstimulated Ba/F3-Kit cells. In Ba/F3-wt and in Ba/F3-Kit cells, daunorubicin stimulated within 8-15 min neutral sphingomyelinase and ceramide production but not in SCF-stimulated Ba/F3-Kit or in Ba/F3-KitDelta27 whereas all Ba/F3 cells were equally sensitive to exogenous cell-permeant C6-ceramide. In Ba/F3-Kit, SCF-induced Kit activation resulted in a rapid phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma) tyrosine phosphorylation followed by diacylglycerol release and protein kinase C (PKC) stimulation. U-73122, a PLCgamma inhibitor, not only blocked diacylglycerol production and PKC stimulation but also restored daunorubicin-induced sphingomyelinase stimulation, ceramide production, and apoptosis. These results suggest that Kit activation results in PLCgamma-mediated PKC-dependent sphingomyelinase inhibition which contributes to drug resistance in Kit-related malignancies.

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