Sphingoid Base-Upregulated Caspase-14 Expression Involves MAPK
Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Sphingolipids are putative intracellular signal mediators in cell differentiation, growth inhibition, and apoptosis. Especially, sphingoid base-backbones of sphingolipids (sphingosine, sphinganine, and phytosphingosine) and their metabolites N-acyl-sphingoid bases (ceramides) are highly bioactive. In skin, one of the caspases, caspase-14, is expressed predominantly in cornifying epithelia, and caspase-14 plays an important role in keratinocyte differentiation. As ceramides were surrounding
... re surrounding lipids in the keratinocytes and ceramides stimulate keratinocyte differentiation, we therefore examined the upregulation of caspase-14 by various sphingoid bases and ceramide. Sphingosine, sphinganine, phytosphingosine, and C2-ceramide treatment at the doses not damaging cells significantly increased caspase-14 mRNA and protein expression in dosedependent manner on human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. These results indicated that sphingoid bases and ceramide upregulated caspase-14 mRNA to increase intracellular caspase-14 protein level. We next examined the caspase-14 upregulation mechanism by sphingoid bases. We used the most effective sphingoid base, phytosphingosine, and revealed that specific inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase, p38 and c-jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), blocked caspase-14 expression. This indicates that phytosphingosine upregulation of caspase-14 is involved of p38 and JNK activation. Moreover, phytosphingosine induced caspase-14 upregulation in vivo, suggesting that sphingoid bases were involved in keratinocyte differentiation by affecting caspase-14.