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FEBS Lett. 2005 Oct 10;579(24):5313-7.

Sphingosine kinase 1 is required for migration, proliferation and survival of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Richmond, 23298-0614, USA.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a potent lysolipid involved in a variety of biological responses important for cancer progression. Therefore, we investigated the role of sphingosine kinase type 1 (SphK1), the enzyme that makes S1P, in the motility, growth, and chemoresistance of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), an important growth factor for breast cancer progression, activated and translocated SphK1 to plasma membrane. SphK1 was required for EGF-directed motility. Downregulation of SphK1 in MCF-7 cells reduced EGF- and serum-stimulated growth and enhanced sensitivity to doxorubicin, a potent chemotherapeutic agent. These results suggest that SphK1 may be critical for growth, metastasis and chemoresistance of human breast cancers.

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