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Int J Mol Med. 2014 Oct;34(4):1169-74. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.1882. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

FTY720 and cisplatin synergistically induce the death of cisplatin-resistant melanoma cells through the downregulation of the PI3K pathway and the decrease in epidermal growth factor receptor expression.

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Department of Dermatology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan.


Sphingosine kinase (SK), a key enzyme in sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) synthesis, is known to be overexpressed in various types of cancer cells. The effects of anticancer agents on SK1/S1P signaling have not yet been fully assessed in melanoma cells. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the combination of FTY720, an S1P receptor antagonist, and cisplatin, a DNA-damaging agent, on the induction of the death of human melanoma cells, as well as the molecular mechanisms involved. The viability of various human melanoma cell lines was examined following treatment with anticancer drugs. The cisplatin-resistant SK-Mel-28 and cisplatin-sensitive A375 cell lines were selected for this analysis. Protein expression and apoptotic rates were evaluated by western blot analysis following treatment with cisplatin and/or FTY720. Following treatment with a combination of FTY720 and cisplatin, cell viability significantly decreased and the expression of apoptosis-associated cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) was significantly higher in comparison to treatment with cisplatin alone in the SK-Mel-28 cells. In addition, the combination of FTY720 and cisplatin reduced the protein expression of SK1 and the phosphorylation levels of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt and mTOR in the SK-Mel-28 cells; the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was also markedly reduced. These findings suggest that FTY720 and cisplatin synergistically induce cell death through the downregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and the decrease in EGFR expression in SK-Mel-28 cells. Thus, the combination of FTY720 and cisplatin may have therapeutic potential for chemotherapy-resistant melanoma, and the effects are likely exerted through the downregulation of S1P signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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