Sphingosine stimulates cellular proliferation via a protein kinase C-independent pathway

H Zhang, N E Buckley, K Gibson, S Spiegel
1990 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Sphingosine, a metabolite of membrane sphingolipids, is generally considered to be cytotoxic for a variety of cell types. However, we have found that sphingosine at low concentrations stimulates DNA synthesis and acts synergistically with known growth factors to induce proliferation of quiescent Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. Structurally related analogs of sphingosine, such as N-stearoylsphingosine and other long chain aliphatic amines, had no mitogenic effects, suggesting that sphingosine did not
more » ... ce nonspecific membrane perturbations. Sphingosine, which has been proposed to be a physiological inhibitor of protein kinase C, also markedly potentiates the mitogenic effect of the tumor promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Sphingosine still stimulates DNA synthesis in cells made protein kinase C deficient by prolonged treatment with phorbol ester. At mitogenic concentrations, sphingosine does not bind to protein kinase C as shown by its lack of effect on phorbol dibutyrate binding. Only at higher concentrations, in the cytotoxic range, was there a displacement of phorbol dibutyrate from its cellular-binding sites. In contrast to sphingosine, H-7, a known inhibitor of protein kinase C, inhibited the mitogenic response to TPA and the TPA-induced phosphorylation of the 80 kDa cellular substrate of protein kinase C. Our results suggest that sphingosine may play an important role as a positive regulator of cell growth acting in a fundamentally different, protein kinase C-independent pathway.
pmid:2294122 fatcat:pn2om6kz4fhqdbjhbec2qsvcvu