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Oncogene. 2007 Dec 13;26(57):7904-8. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Sphingosine kinase-1 mediates BCR/ABL-induced upregulation of Mcl-1 in chronic myeloid leukemia cells.

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Department of Experimental Hematology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing, PR China.


The signaling mechanisms responsible for BCR/ABL-induced regulation of Mcl-1 expression in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells remain unclear. In this study, we show that BCR/ABL could upregulate sphingosine kinase-1 (SPK1) expression via multiple signal pathways, including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), leading to increase cellular SPK1 activity in CML cells. Retrovirus-mediated overexpression of bcr-abl gene in NIH-3T3, Ba/F3 and HL-60 cells results in upregulation and increased cellular activity of SPK1, whereas treatment of CML cells with specific inhibitors of the BCR/ABL, PI3K, MAPK and JAK2 pathways decreases BCR/ABL-induced SPK1 expression and cellular activity. BCR/ABL also induces upregulation of Mcl-1 expression in CML cells. Inhibition of SPK1 by adenovirus-mediated transfer of small interfering RNA or N,N-dimethylsphingosine reduced expression of Mcl-1 in CML cells. Our data indicated that BCR/ABL induces SPK1 expression and increases its cellular activity, leading to upregulation of Mcl-1 in CML cells. SPK1 silencing enhances the STI571-induced apoptosis of CML cell lines. It is suggested that SPK1 may be a potential therapeutic target in CML.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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