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Blood. 2015 Mar 5;125(10):1643-52. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-08-595751. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Elevated adenosine signaling via adenosine A2B receptor induces normal and sickle erythrocyte sphingosine kinase 1 activity.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, and.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX.


Erythrocyte possesses high sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) activity and is the major cell type supplying plasma sphingosine-1-phosphate, a signaling lipid regulating multiple physiological and pathological functions. Recent studies revealed that erythrocyte SphK1 activity is upregulated in sickle cell disease (SCD) and contributes to sickling and disease progression. However, how erythrocyte SphK1 activity is regulated remains unknown. Here we report that adenosine induces SphK1 activity in human and mouse sickle and normal erythrocytes in vitro. Next, using 4 adenosine receptor-deficient mice and pharmacological approaches, we determined that the A2B adenosine receptor (ADORA2B) is essential for adenosine-induced SphK1 activity in human and mouse normal and sickle erythrocytes in vitro. Subsequently, we provide in vivo genetic evidence that adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency leads to excess plasma adenosine and elevated erythrocyte SphK1 activity. Lowering adenosine by ADA enzyme therapy or genetic deletion of ADORA2B significantly reduced excess adenosine-induced erythrocyte SphK1 activity in ADA-deficient mice. Finally, we revealed that protein kinase A-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation functioning downstream of ADORA2B underlies adenosine-induced erythrocyte SphK1 activity. Overall, our findings reveal a novel signaling network regulating erythrocyte SphK1 and highlight innovative mechanisms regulating SphK1 activity in normal and SCD.

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