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FEBS Lett. 1999 Nov 5;460(3):513-8.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate modulates growth and adhesion of ovarian cancer cells.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid molecule. It stimulates the growth of some cells, but inhibits the growth of others. In this study, we describe the detection of sub-microM to microM concentrations of S1P in the ascitic fluids of patients with ovarian cancer. In ovarian cancer cells cultured in vitro, S1P exhibited a dual effect on growth and/or survival. S1P (10 microM) induced cell death when cells were in suspension but stimulated cell growth when cells were attached. The calcium-dependent induction of cell death by S1P is apparently associated with its inhibitory effect on cell attachment and cell adhesion. S1P (10-30 microM) also induced calcium-dependent cell-cell aggregation.

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