Gene Summary

Gene:SMPD1; sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1, acid lysosomal
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a lysosomal acid sphingomyelinase that converts sphingomyelin to ceramide. The encoded protein also has phospholipase C activity. Defects in this gene are a cause of Niemann-Pick disease type A (NPA) and Niemann-Pick disease type B (NPB). Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SMPD1 (cancer-related)

Lee TH, Chennakrishnaiah S, Audemard E, et al.
Oncogenic ras-driven cancer cell vesiculation leads to emission of double-stranded DNA capable of interacting with target cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 451(2):295-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cell free DNA is often regarded as a source of genetic cancer biomarkers, but the related mechanisms of DNA release, composition and biological activity remain unclear. Here we show that rat epithelial cell transformation by the human H-ras oncogene leads to an increase in production of small, exosomal-like extracellular vesicles by viable cancer cells. These EVs contain chromatin-associated double-stranded DNA fragments covering the entire host genome, including full-length H-ras. Oncogenic N-ras and SV40LT sequences were also found in EVs emitted from spontaneous mouse brain tumor cells. Disruption of acidic sphingomyelinase and the p53/Rb pathway did not block emission of EV-related oncogenic DNA. Exposure of non-transformed RAT-1 cells to EVs containing mutant H-ras DNA led to the uptake and retention of this material for an extended (30days) but transient period of time, and stimulated cell proliferation. Thus, our study suggests that H-ras-mediated transformation stimulates vesicular emission of this histone-bound oncogene, which may interact with non-transformed cells.

Jenkins NC, Kalra RR, Dubuc A, et al.
Genetic drivers of metastatic dissemination in sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014; 2:85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leptomeningeal dissemination (LMD), the metastatic spread of tumor cells via the cerebrospinal fluid to the brain and spinal cord, is an ominous prognostic sign for patients with the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. The need to reduce the risk of LMD has driven the development of aggressive treatment regimens, which cause disabling neurotoxic side effects in long-term survivors. Transposon-mediated mutagenesis studies in mice have revealed numerous candidate metastasis genes. Understanding how these genes drive LMD will require functional assessment using in vivo and cell culture models of medulloblastoma. We analyzed two genes that were sites of frequent transposon insertion and highly expressed in human medulloblastomas: Arnt (aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator) and Gdi2 (GDP dissociation inhibitor 2). Here we show that ectopic expression of Arnt and Gdi2 promoted LMD in mice bearing Sonic hedgehog (Shh)-induced medulloblastomas. We overexpressed Arnt and Gdi2 in a human medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY) and an immortalized, nontransformed cell line derived from mouse granule neuron precursors (SHH-NPD) and quantified migration, invasiveness, and anchorage-independent growth, cell traits that are associated with metastatic competence in carcinomas. In SHH-NPD cells. Arnt and Gdi2 stimulated all three traits. In DAOY cells, Arnt had the same effects, but Gdi2 stimulated invasiveness only. These results support a mechanism whereby Arnt and Gdi2 cause cells to detach from the primary tumor mass by increasing cell motility and invasiveness. By conferring to tumor cells the ability to proliferate without surface attachment, Arnt and Gdi2 favor the formation of stable colonies of cells capable of seeding the leptomeninges.

Soans E, Evans SC, Cipolla C, Fernandes E
Characterizing the sphingomyelinase pathway triggered by PRIMA-1 derivatives in lung cancer cells with differing p53 status.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(7):3271-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Derivatives of PRIMA-1 compound, 8a and 8b have been shown to increase cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells through sphingomyelinase pathways in IR and 8a or 8b co-treated lung cancer cells. The goal of the present study was to further elaborate the molecular mechanism of 8a- or 8b-treated lung cancer cells in order to understand their potential as anti-cancer drugs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Biochemical assays, western blot, flow cytometry and gene array analyses were employed to distinguish these mechanisms.
RESULTS: Herein we demonstrated that 8a and 8b cause apoptosis with S-phase arrest in lung cancer cells by activating neutral sphingomyelinase with ceramide production. 8a induces expression of TNF family genes while 8b induces p53-mediated apoptosis genes. Protein analysis shows an increased expression in caspase 8, bcl-2, bax, caspase 9 and cytochrome c.
CONCLUSION: PRIMA-1 derivatives provoke cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells mainly through the neutral sphingomyelinase-dependent apoptosis pathway.

Perry DM, Newcomb B, Adada M, et al.
Defining a role for acid sphingomyelinase in the p38/interleukin-6 pathway.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(32):22401-12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/08/2015 Related Publications
Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is one of the key enzymes involved in regulating the metabolism of the bioactive sphingolipid ceramide in the sphingolipid salvage pathway, yet defining signaling pathways by which ASM exerts its effects has proven difficult. Previous literature has implicated sphingolipids in the regulation of cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), but the specific sphingolipid pathways and mechanisms involved in inflammatory signaling need to be further elucidated. In this work, we sought to define the role of ASM in IL-6 production because our previous work showed that a parallel pathway of ceramide metabolism, acid β-glucosidase 1, negatively regulates IL-6. First, silencing ASM with siRNA abrogated IL-6 production in response to the tumor promoter, 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), in MCF-7 cells, in distinction to acid β-glucosidase 1 and acid ceramidase, suggesting specialization of the pathways. Moreover, treating cells with siRNA to ASM or with the indirect pharmacologic inhibitor desipramine resulted in significant inhibition of TNFα- and PMA-induced IL-6 production in MDA-MB-231 and HeLa cells. Knockdown of ASM was found to significantly inhibit PMA-dependent IL-6 induction at the mRNA level, probably ruling out mechanisms of translation or secretion of IL-6. Further, ASM knockdown or desipramine blunted p38 MAPK activation in response to TNFα, revealing a key role for ASM in activating p38, a signaling pathway known to regulate IL-6 induction. Last, knockdown of ASM dramatically blunted invasion of HeLa and MDA-MB-231 cells through Matrigel. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ASM plays a critical role in p38 signaling and IL-6 synthesis with implications for tumor pathobiology.

Romanelli V, Nakabayashi K, Vizoso M, et al.
Variable maternal methylation overlapping the nc886/vtRNA2-1 locus is locked between hypermethylated repeats and is frequently altered in cancer.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(5):783-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Cancer is as much an epigenetic disease as a genetic one; however, the interplay between these two processes is unclear. Recently, it has been shown that a large proportion of DNA methylation variability can be explained by allele-specific methylation (ASM), either at classical imprinted loci or those regulated by underlying genetic variants. During a recent screen for imprinted differentially methylated regions, we identified the genomic interval overlapping the non-coding nc886 RNA (previously known as vtRNA2-1) as an atypical ASM that shows variable levels of methylation, predominantly on the maternal allele in many tissues. Here we show that the nc886 interval is the first example of a polymorphic imprinted DMR in humans. Further analysis of the region suggests that the interval subjected to ASM is approximately 2 kb in size and somatically acquired. An in depth analysis of this region in primary cancer samples with matching normal adjacent tissue from the Cancer Genome Atlas revealed that aberrant methylation in bladder, breast, colon and lung tumors occurred in approximately 27% of cases. Hypermethylation occurred more frequently than hypomethylation. Using additional normal-tumor paired samples we show that on rare occasions the aberrant methylation profile is due to loss-of-heterozygosity. This work therefore suggests that the nc886 locus is subject to variable allelic methylation that undergoes cancer-associated epigenetic changes in solid tumors.

Erben P, Schwaab J, Metzgeroth G, et al.
The KIT D816V expressed allele burden for diagnosis and disease monitoring of systemic mastocytosis.
Ann Hematol. 2014; 93(1):81-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The activating KIT D816V mutation plays a central role in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and targeted treatment of systemic mastocytosis (SM). For improved and reliable identification of KIT D816V, we have developed an allele-specific quantitative real-time PCR (RQ-PCR) with an enhanced sensitivity of 0.01-0.1 %, which was superior to denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (0.5-1 %) or conventional sequencing (10-20 %). Overall, KIT D816 mutations were identified in 146/147 (99 %) of patients (D816V, n = 142; D816H, n = 2; D816Y, n = 2) with SM, including indolent SM (ISM, n = 63, 43 %), smoldering SM (n = 8, 5 %), SM with associated hematological non-mast cell lineage disease (SM-AHNMD, n = 16, 11 %), and aggressive SM/mast cell leukemia ± AHNMD (ASM/MCL, n = 60, 41 %). If positive in BM, the KIT D816V mutation was found in PB of all patients with advanced SM (SM-AHNMD, ASM, and MCL) and in 46 % (23/50) of patients with ISM. There was a strong correlation between the KIT D816V expressed allele burden (KIT D816V EAB) with results obtained from DNA by genomic allele-specific PCR and also with disease activity (e.g., serum tryptase level), disease subtype (e.g., indolent vs. advanced SM) and survival. In terms of monitoring of residual disease, qualitative and quantitative assessment of KIT D816V and KIT D816V EAB was successfully used for sequential analysis after chemotherapy or allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We therefore conclude that RQ-PCR assays for KIT D816V are useful complimentary tools for diagnosis, disease monitoring, and evaluation of prognosis in patients with SM.

Peter B, Cerny-Reiterer S, Hadzijusufovic E, et al.
The pan-Bcl-2 blocker obatoclax promotes the expression of Puma, Noxa, and Bim mRNA and induces apoptosis in neoplastic mast cells.
J Leukoc Biol. 2014; 95(1):95-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Advanced SM is an incurable neoplasm with short survival time. So far, no effective therapy is available for these patients. We and others have shown recently that neoplastic MC in ASM and MCL express antiapoptotic Mcl-1, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL. In this study, we examined the effects of the pan-Bcl-2 family blocker obatoclax (GX015-070) on primary neoplastic MC, the human MC leukemia cell line HMC-1, and the canine mastocytoma cell line C2. Obatoclax was found to inhibit proliferation in primary human neoplastic MC (IC₅₀: 0.057 μM), in HMC-1.2 cells expressing KIT D816V (IC₅₀: 0.72 μM), and in HMC-1.1 cells lacking KIT D816V (IC₅₀: 0.09 μM), as well as in C2 cells (IC₅₀: 0.74 μM). The growth-inhibitory effects of obatoclax in HMC-1 cells were accompanied by an increase in expression of Puma, Noxa, and Bim mRNA, as well as by apoptosis, as evidenced by microscopy, TUNEL assay, and caspase cleavage. Viral-mediated overexpression of Mcl-1, Bcl-xL, or Bcl-2 in HMC-1 cells was found to introduce partial resistance against apoptosis-inducing effects of obatoclax. We were also able to show that obatoclax synergizes with several other antineoplastic drugs, including dasatinib, midostaurin, and bortezomib, in producing apoptosis and/or growth arrest in neoplastic MC. Together, obatoclax exerts major growth-inhibitory effects on neoplastic MC and potentiates the antineoplastic activity of other targeted drugs. Whether these drug effects can be translated to application in patients with advanced SM remains to be determined.

Revill K, Wang T, Lachenmayer A, et al.
Genome-wide methylation analysis and epigenetic unmasking identify tumor suppressor genes in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Gastroenterology. 2013; 145(6):1424-35.e1-25 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes contributes to the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To identify clinically relevant tumor suppressor genes silenced by DNA methylation in HCC, we integrated DNA methylation data from human primary HCC samples with data on up-regulation of gene expression after epigenetic unmasking.
METHODS: We performed genome-wide methylation analysis of 71 human HCC samples using the Illumina HumanBeadchip27K array; data were combined with those from microarray analysis of gene re-expression in 4 liver cancer cell lines after their exposure to reagents that reverse DNA methylation (epigenetic unmasking).
RESULTS: Based on DNA methylation in primary HCC and gene re-expression in cell lines after epigenetic unmasking, we identified 13 candidate tumor suppressor genes. Subsequent validation led us to focus on functionally characterizing 2 candidates, sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 3 (SMPD3) and neurofilament, heavy polypeptide (NEFH), which we found to behave as tumor suppressor genes in HCC. Overexpression of SMPD3 and NEFH by stable transfection of inducible constructs into an HCC cell line reduced cell proliferation by 50% and 20%, respectively (SMPD3, P = .003 and NEFH, P = .003). Conversely, knocking down expression of these genes with small hairpin RNA promoted cell invasion and migration in vitro (SMPD3, P = .0001 and NEFH, P = .022), and increased their ability to form tumors after subcutaneous injection or orthotopic transplantation into mice, confirming their role as tumor suppressor genes in HCC. Low levels of SMPD3 were associated with early recurrence of HCC after curative surgery in an independent patient cohort (P = .001; hazard ratio = 3.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.6-6.5 in multivariate analysis).
CONCLUSIONS: Integrative genomic analysis identified SMPD3 and NEFH as tumor suppressor genes in HCC. We provide evidence that SMPD3 is a potent tumor suppressor gene that could affect tumor aggressiveness; a reduced level of SMPD3 is an independent prognostic factor for early recurrence of HCC.

Stancevic B, Varda-Bloom N, Cheng J, et al.
Adenoviral transduction of human acid sphingomyelinase into neo-angiogenic endothelium radiosensitizes tumor cure.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e69025 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
These studies define a new mechanism-based approach to radiosensitize tumor cure by single dose radiotherapy (SDRT). Published evidence indicates that SDRT induces acute microvascular endothelial apoptosis initiated via acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) translocation to the external plasma membrane. Ensuing microvascular damage regulates radiation lethality of tumor stem cell clonogens to effect tumor cure. Based on this biology, we engineered an ASMase-producing vector consisting of a modified pre-proendothelin-1 promoter, PPE1(3x), and a hypoxia-inducible dual-binding HIF-2α-Ets-1 enhancer element upstream of the asmase gene, inserted into a replication-deficient adenovirus yielding the vector Ad5H2E-PPE1(3x)-ASMase. This vector confers ASMase over-expression in cycling angiogenic endothelium in vitro and within tumors in vivo, with no detectable enhancement in endothelium of normal tissues that exhibit a minute fraction of cycling cells or in non-endothelial tumor or normal tissue cells. Intravenous pretreatment with Ad5H2E-PPE1(3x)-ASMase markedly increases SDRT cure of inherently radiosensitive MCA/129 fibrosarcomas, and converts radiation-incurable B16 melanomas into biopsy-proven tumor cures. In contrast, Ad5H2E-PPE1(3x)-ASMase treatment did not impact radiation damage to small intestinal crypts as non-dividing small intestinal microvessels did not overexpress ASMase and were not radiosensitized. We posit that combination of genetic up-regulation of tumor microvascular ASMase and SDRT provides therapeutic options for currently radiation-incurable human tumors.

Kumazoe M, Kim Y, Bae J, et al.
Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor acts as a potent agent sensitizing acute myeloid leukemia cells to 67-kDa laminin receptor-dependent apoptosis.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(18):3052-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol in green tea, induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells without affecting normal cells. In this study, we observed that cGMP acts as a cell death mediator of the EGCG-induced anti-AML effect through acid sphingomyelinase activation. EGCG activated the Akt/eNOS axis, a well-known mechanism in vascular cGMP upregulation. We also observed that a major cGMP negative regulator, phosphodiesterase 5, was overexpressed in AML cells, and PDE5 inhibitor, an anti-erectile dysfunction drug, synergistically enhanced the anti-AML effect of EGCG. This combination regimen killed AML cells via overexpressed 67-kDa laminin receptors.

Savić R, He X, Fiel I, Schuchman EH
Recombinant human acid sphingomyelinase as an adjuvant to sorafenib treatment of experimental liver cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e65620 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. The only approved systemic treatment for unresectable HCC is the oral kinase inhibitor, sorafenib. Recombinant human acid sphingomyelinase (rhASM), which hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide, is an orphan drug under development for the treatment of Type B Niemann-Pick disease (NPD). Due to the hepatotropic nature of rhASM and its ability to generate pro-apoptotic ceramide, this study evaluated the use of rhASM as an adjuvant treatment with sorafenib in experimental models of HCC.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In vitro, rhASM/sorafenib treatment reduced the viability of Huh7 liver cancer cells more than sorafenib. In vivo, using a subcutaneous Huh7 tumor model, mouse survival was increased and proliferation in the tumors decreased to a similar extent in both sorafenib and rhASM/sorafenib treatment groups. However, combined rhASM/sorafenib treatment significantly lowered tumor volume, increased tumor necrosis, and decreased tumor blood vessel density compared to sorafenib. These results were obtained despite poor delivery of rhASM to the tumors. A second (orthotopic) model of Huh7 tumors also was established, but modest ASM activity was similarly detected in these tumors compared to healthy mouse livers. Importantly, no chronic liver toxicity or weight loss was observed from rhASM therapy in either model.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The rhASM/sorafenib combination exhibited a synergistic effect on reducing the tumor volume and blood vessel density in Huh7 xenografts, despite modest activity of rhASM in these tumors. No significant increases in survival were observed from the rhASM/sorafenib treatment. The poor delivery of rhASM to Huh7 tumors may be due, at least in part, to low expression of mannose receptors. The safety and efficacy of this approach, together with the novel findings regarding enzyme targeting, merits further investigation.

Malki A, Fathy L, El Ashry ES
Novel quinuclidinone derivatives induce apoptosis in lung cancer via sphingomyelinase pathways.
Drug Res (Stuttg). 2013; 63(7):362-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported novel quinuclidinone analogs which induced apoptosis in lung and breast cancer cells. In this study, we designed and synthesized novel quinuclidinone analogs that showed cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells. The effects of these analogs were studied in H1299 human large cell lung carcinoma cells that are null for p53 and normal lung epithelial cell lines (NL-20). The effects of the analogs were investigated by MTT assay, ELISA based apoptotic assay, TUNEL assay, sphingomylinase activity, flow cytometry and western blot analysis. Our data indicated that derivatives 4 and 6 decreased cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in H1299 cells more than NL-20 cells. Derivatives 4 and 6 reduced percent of cells in G2/M phase in H1299 cells more than NL-20 cells and these results were confirmed by increased expression levels of cyclin E. Furthermore, derivatives 4 and 6 increased sphingomyelinase activity, caspase-8, and caspase-9 and JNK-1 expression level in H1299. Additionally, derivatives 4 and 6 induced Procaspase-3, PARP-1 cleavage, and increased caspase-3 activity. All these results confirm that our quinuclidinone derivatives provoke cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells through the interplay of key apoptosis molecules in different compartments of the cell beginning with an increase in sphingomyelinase activity.

Goldkorn T, Chung S, Filosto S
Lung cancer and lung injury: the dual role of ceramide.
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2013; (216):93-113 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sphingolipids play key roles in cancer, yet our current understanding of sphingolipid function in lung cancer is limited to a few key players. The best characterized of these are sphingosine-1-phosphate and ceramide which are described for their opposing roles in cell fate. However, because sphingolipids as a whole are readily interconverted by a complex enzymatic machinery, no single sphingolipid appears to have exactly one role. Instead, the roles of specific sphingolipids appear to be context specific as demonstrated by findings that ceramide-1-phosphate has both proliferative and apoptotic effects depending on its concentration. Therefore, we present herein several years of research on ceramide, a sphingolipid linked to apoptotic signaling, that is emerging in cancer research for its potential roles in proliferation and cell-to-cell communication via exosomes.Ceramide is a well-studied sphingolipid in both normal and pathological conditions ranging from skin development to lung cancer. Interestingly, several groups have previously reported its increased levels in emphysema patients who are smokers, a patient subpopulation greatly susceptible to lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms through which cigarette smoke (CS) and ceramide accumulation lead to lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specifically, are unknown.Interestingly, recent studies clearly establish that two signaling pathways are activated during CS exposure in the lung airway. One centers on the activation of neutral sphingomyelinase2 (nSMase2), an enzyme that hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide. The other pathway focuses on the oncogenic EGF receptor (EGFR), which becomes aberrantly activated but not degraded, leading to prolonged proliferative signaling. Recent studies show that these two signaling pathways may actually converge and integrate. Specifically, Goldkorn et al. demonstrated that during CS exposure, EGFR is favorably co-localized in ceramide-enriched regions of the plasma membrane, proposing that nSMase2/ceramide plays a role in the aberrant EGFR activation, leading to augmented tumorigenic signaling. Moreover, new findings indicate that CS exposure may induce resistance to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), used for treatment of NSCLC, merely through posttranslational molecular alterations. Furthermore, structural anomalies of the CS-activated EGFR appear to be supported by the excess ceramide produced by the CS-activated nSMase2 in the plasma membrane of lung epithelial cells.We present in this chapter the progression of the sphingolipid field in lung cancer using ceramide as an example. However, many crucial questions remain to be answered regarding the role of sphingolipids in lung cancer because of the glut of promising observations.

Kosaka N, Iguchi H, Hagiwara K, et al.
Neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2)-dependent exosomal transfer of angiogenic microRNAs regulate cancer cell metastasis.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(15):10849-59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
The release of humoral factors between cancer cells and the microenvironmental cells is critical for metastasis; however, the roles of secreted miRNAs in non-cell autonomous cancer progression against microenvironmental cells remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the neutral sphyngomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) regulates exosomal microRNA (miRNA) secretion and promotes angiogenesis within the tumor microenvironment as well as metastasis. We demonstrate a requirement for nSMase2-mediated cancer cell exosomal miRNAs in the regulation of metastasis through the induction of angiogenesis in inoculated tumors. In addition, miR-210, released by metastatic cancer cells, was shown to transport to endothelial cells and suppress the expression of specific target genes, which resulted in enhanced angiogenesis. These findings suggest that the horizontal transfer of exosomal miRNAs from cancer cells can dictate the microenviromental niche for the benefit of the cancer cell, like "on demand system" for cancer cells.

Savić R, Schuchman EH
Use of acid sphingomyelinase for cancer therapy.
Adv Cancer Res. 2013; 117:91-115 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) is a lipid hydrolase that cleaves the sphingolipid, sphingomyelin, into ceramide. Mutations in the ASM gene (SMPD1) result in the rare lysosomal storage disorder, Niemann-Pick disease (NPD). In addition to its role in NPD, over the past two decades, the importance of sphingolipids, and ASM in particular, in normal physiology and the pathophysiology of numerous common diseases also has become known. For example, altered sphingolipid metabolism occurs in many cancers, generally reducing the levels of the pro-apoptotic lipid, ceramide, and/or elevating the levels of the proliferative lipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). These changes likely contribute to the tumorigenicity and/or metastatic capacity of the cancer. In addition, many cancer therapies induce ceramide-mediated death, and cancer cells have evolved novel mechanisms to overcome this effect. In the present review, we discuss sphingolipid metabolism in cancer, and specifically the potential for pharmacological modulation using ASM. Of note, recombinant human ASM (rhASM) has been produced for human use and is being evaluated as a treatment for NPD. Thus, its use for cancer therapy could be rapidly evaluated in the clinic after appropriate animal model studies have been completed. As this enzyme was initially studied in the context of NPD, we start with a brief overview of the history of ASM and NPD, followed by a discussion of the role of ASM in cancer biology, and then summarize emerging preclinical efficacy studies using rhASM as an adjunct in the treatment of solid tumors.

Hu Y, Huang Y, Du Y, et al.
DiffSplice: the genome-wide detection of differential splicing events with RNA-seq.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013; 41(2):e39 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
The RNA transcriptome varies in response to cellular differentiation as well as environmental factors, and can be characterized by the diversity and abundance of transcript isoforms. Differential transcription analysis, the detection of differences between the transcriptomes of different cells, may improve understanding of cell differentiation and development and enable the identification of biomarkers that classify disease types. The availability of high-throughput short-read RNA sequencing technologies provides in-depth sampling of the transcriptome, making it possible to accurately detect the differences between transcriptomes. In this article, we present a new method for the detection and visualization of differential transcription. Our approach does not depend on transcript or gene annotations. It also circumvents the need for full transcript inference and quantification, which is a challenging problem because of short read lengths, as well as various sampling biases. Instead, our method takes a divide-and-conquer approach to localize the difference between transcriptomes in the form of alternative splicing modules (ASMs), where transcript isoforms diverge. Our approach starts with the identification of ASMs from the splice graph, constructed directly from the exons and introns predicted from RNA-seq read alignments. The abundance of alternative splicing isoforms residing in each ASM is estimated for each sample and is compared across sample groups. A non-parametric statistical test is applied to each ASM to detect significant differential transcription with a controlled false discovery rate. The sensitivity and specificity of the method have been assessed using simulated data sets and compared with other state-of-the-art approaches. Experimental validation using qRT-PCR confirmed a selected set of genes that are differentially expressed in a lung differentiation study and a breast cancer data set, demonstrating the utility of the approach applied on experimental biological data sets. The software of DiffSplice is available at

Yun SH, Park ES, Shin SW, et al.
Stichoposide C induces apoptosis through the generation of ceramide in leukemia and colorectal cancer cells and shows in vivo antitumor activity.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(21):5934-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Marine triterpene glycosides that are physiologically active natural compounds isolated from sea cucumbers (holothurians) and sponges have antifungal, cytotoxic, and antitumor activities, whose specific molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In this study, we examined if and through which mechanisms stichoposide C (STC) from Thelenota anax (family Stichopodidae) induces apoptosis in leukemia and colorectal cancer cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined STC-induced apoptosis in human leukemia and colorectal cancer cells in the context of mitochondrial injury and signaling pathway disturbances, and investigated the antitumor effect of STC in mouse CT-26 subcutaneous tumor and HL-60 leukemia xenograft models.
RESULTS: We found that STC induces apoptosis in these cells in a dose-dependent manner and leads to the activation of Fas and caspase-8, cleavage of Bid, mitochondrial damage, and activation of caspase-3. STC activates acid sphingomyelinase (SMase) and neutral SMase, which resulted in the generation of ceramide. Specific inhibition of acid SMase or neutral SMase and siRNA knockdown experiments partially blocked STC-induced apoptosis. Moreover, STC markedly reduced tumor growth of HL-60 xenograft and CT-26 subcutaneous tumors and increased ceramide generation in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Ceramide generation by STC, through activation of acid and neutral SMase, may in part contribute to STC-induced apoptosis and antitumor activity. Thus, STC may have therapeutic relevance for human leukemia and colorectal cancer.

Lesma E, Eloisa C, Isaia E, et al.
Development of a lymphangioleiomyomatosis model by endonasal administration of human TSC2-/- smooth muscle cells in mice.
Am J Pathol. 2012; 181(3):947-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is an interstitial lung disease characterized by invasion and proliferation of abnormal smooth muscle (ASM) cells in lung parenchyma and axial lymphatics. LAM cells bear mutations in tuberous sclerosis (TSC) genes. TSC2(-/-) ASM cells, derived from a human renal angiomyolipoma, require epidermal growth factor (EGF) for proliferation. Blockade of EGF receptors (EGFR) causes cell death. TSC2(-/-) ASM cells, previously labeled with PKH26-GL dye, were endonasally administered to 5-week-old immunodeficient female nude mice, and 4 or 26 weeks later anti-EGFR antibody or rapamycin was administered twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks. TSC2(-/-) ASM cells infiltrated lymph nodes and alveolar lung walls, causing progressive destruction of parenchyma. Parenchymal destruction was efficiently reversed by anti-EGFR treatment and partially by rapamycin treatment. Following TSC2(-/-) ASM cell administration, lymphangiogenesis increased in lungs as indicated by more diffuse LYVE1 expression and high murine VEGF levels. Anti-EGFR antibody and rapamycin blocked the increase in lymphatic vessels. This study shows that TSC2(-/-) ASM cells can migrate and invade lungs and lymph nodes, and anti-EGFR antibody is more effective than rapamycin in promoting lung repair and reducing lymphangiogenesis. The development of a model to study metastasis by TSC cells will also help to explain how they invade different tissues and metastasize to the lung.

Ghanim V, Herrmann H, Heller G, et al.
5-azacytidine and decitabine exert proapoptotic effects on neoplastic mast cells: role of FAS-demethylation and FAS re-expression, and synergism with FAS-ligand.
Blood. 2012; 119(18):4242-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aggressive systemic mastocytosis (ASM) and mast cell leukemia (MCL) are advanced hematopoietic neoplasms with poor prognosis. In these patients, neoplastic mast cells (MCs) are resistant against various drugs. We examined the effects of 2 demethylating agents, 5-azacytidine and decitabine on growth and survival of neoplastic MCs and the MC line HMC-1. Two HMC-1 subclones were used, HMC-1.1 lacking KIT D816V and HMC-1.2 exhibiting KIT D816V. Both agents induced apoptosis in HMC-1.1 and HMC-1.2 cells. Decitabine, but not 5-azacytidine, also produced a G(2)/M cell-cycle arrest in HMC-1 cells. Drug-induced apoptosis was accompanied by cleavage of caspase-8 and caspase-3 as well as FAS-demethylation and FAS-re-expression in neoplastic MCs. Furthermore, both demethylating agents were found to synergize with the FAS-ligand in inducing apoptosis in neoplastic MCs. Correspondingly, siRNA against FAS was found to block drug-induced expression of FAS and drug-induced apoptosis in HMC-1 cells. Neither 5-azacytidine nor decitabine induced substantial apoptosis or growth arrest in normal MCs or normal bone marrow cells. Together, 5-azacytidine and decitabine exert growth-inhibitory and proapoptotic effects in neoplastic MCs. These effects are mediated through "FAS-re-expression" and are augmented by the FAS-ligand. Whether epigenetic drugs produce antineoplastic effects in vivo in patients with ASM and MCL remains to be determined.

Tamasawa N, Takayasu S, Murakami H, et al.
Reduced cellular cholesterol efflux and low plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in a patient with type B Niemann-Pick disease because of a novel SMPD-1 mutation.
J Clin Lipidol. 2012 Jan-Feb; 6(1):74-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Type A or B Niemann-Pick disease (NPD) is characterized by the accumulation of sphingomyelin in the lysosomes and cell membranes. This accumulation results because of a mutation in the sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase-1 (SMPD-1) gene that causes a deficit in the acid sphingomyelinase (ASM).
OBJECTIVE: Herein, we report on a new point mutation in the SMPD-1 gene that was discovered in a patient with type B NPD.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A culture of the patient's fibroblasts demonstrated that the observed clinical symptoms and reduced plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were associated with a reduced efflux of cholesterol. Examination of the skin fibroblasts demonstrated that ASM activity was reduced to approximately 60% of that observed in control cells, and a newly identified point mutation was found in codon 494 [Gly (GGT) → Cys (TGT)] in the SMPD-1 gene. Furthermore, repeated measurements of the plasma HDL-C levels remained low (17.5-20.5 mg/dL), and the Apo A-I- or HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux from the patient's fibroblasts was significantly reduced as compared with control fibroblasts.
CONCLUSION: In summary, we identified a unique point mutation in a patient with type B NPD that was associated with various clinical findings, including a low plasma HDL-C level. This reduced cellular cholesterol efflux may be implicated, at least in part, in low plasma HDL levels.

Barceló-Coblijn G, Martin ML, de Almeida RF, et al.
Sphingomyelin and sphingomyelin synthase (SMS) in the malignant transformation of glioma cells and in 2-hydroxyoleic acid therapy.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(49):19569-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
The mechanism of action of 2-hydroxyoleic acid (2OHOA), a potent antitumor compound, has not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we show that human cancer cells have markedly lower levels of sphingomyelin (SM) than nontumor (MRC-5) cells. In this context, 2OHOA treatment strongly augments SM mass (4.6-fold), restoring the levels found in MRC-5 cells, while a loss of phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine is observed (57 and 30%, respectively). The increased SM mass was due to a rapid and highly specific activation of SM synthases (SMS). This effect appeared to be specific against cancer cells as it did not affect nontumor MRC-5 cells. Therefore, low SM levels are associated with the tumorigenic transformation that produces cancer cells. SM accumulation occurred at the plasma membrane and caused an increase in membrane global order and lipid raft packing in model membranes. These modifications would account for the observed alteration by 2OHOA in the localization of proteins involved in cell apoptosis (Fas receptor) or differentiation (Ras). Importantly, SMS inhibition by D609 diminished 2OHOA effect on cell cycle. Therefore, we propose that the regulation of SMS activity in tumor cells is a critical upstream event in 2OHOA antitumor mechanism, which also explains its specificity for cancer cells, its potency, and the lack of undesired side effects. Finally, the specific activation of SMS explains the ability of this compound to trigger cell cycle arrest, cell differentiation, and autophagy or apoptosis in cancer cells.

Bikman BT, Summers SA
Sphingolipids and hepatic steatosis.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011; 721:87-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
The development of a fatty liver predisposes individuals to an array of health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer. Inhibition or genetic ablation of genes controlling sphingolipid synthesis in rodents resolves hepatic steatosis and in many cases wards off the health complications associated with excessive hepatic triglyceride accumulation. Examples include the pharmacological inhibition of serine palmitoyltransferase or glucosylceramide synthase or the genetic depletion of acid sphingomyelinase, which dramatically reduce hepatic triglyceride levels in mice susceptible to the development of a fatty liver. The magnitude of the effects on triglyceride depletion in these models is impressive, but the relevance to humans and the mechanism of action is unclear. Herein we probe into the connections between sphingolipids and triglyceride synthesis in an attempt to identify causal relationships and opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

Clarke CJ, Cloessner EA, Roddy PL, Hannun YA
Neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) is the primary neutral sphingomyelinase isoform activated by tumour necrosis factor-α in MCF-7 cells.
Biochem J. 2011; 435(2):381-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Activation of N-SMase (neutral sphingomyelinase) is an established part of the response of cytokines such as TNF (tumour necrosis factor)-α. However, it remains unclear which of the currently cloned N-SMase isoforms (nSMase1, nSMase2 and nSMase3) are responsible for this activity. In MCF-7 cells, we found that TNF-α induces late, but not early, increases in N-SMase activity, and that nSMase2 is the primary isoform activated, most likely through post-transcriptional mechanisms. Surprisingly, overexpression of tagged or untagged nSMase3 in multiple cell lines had no significant effect on in vitro N-SMase activity. Moreover, only overexpression of nSMase2, but not nSMase1 or nSMase3, had significant effects on cellular sphingolipid levels, increasing ceramide and decreasing sphingomyelin. Additionally, only siRNA (small interfering RNA) knockdown of nSMase1 significantly decreased basal in vitro N-SMase activity of MCF-7 cells, whereas nSMase2 but not nSMase3 siRNA inhibited TNF-α-induced activity. Taken together, these results identify nSMase2 as the major TNF-α-responsive N-SMase in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, the results suggest that nSMase3 may not possess in vitro N-SMase activity and does not affect cellular sphingolipid levels in the cell lines evaluated. On the other hand, nSMase1 contributes to in vitro N-SMase activity, but does not affect cellular sphingolipids much.

Huang H, Zhang Y, Liu X, et al.
Acid sphingomyelinase contributes to evodiamine-induced apoptosis in human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells.
DNA Cell Biol. 2011; 30(6):407-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evodiamine-induced apoptosis has been shown to have anticancer activity by eradication of some carcinoma cell lines. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of evodiamine on the viability of human gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells and to define the cell death pathway. Flow cytometry detection showed that 1.5 μM evodiamine significantly induced SGC-7901 cell apoptosis in a time-dependent manner. This apoptosis was partially inhibited by the pancaspase inhibitor carbobenzoxy-valyl-alanyl-aspartyl-[O-methyl]-fluoro-methylketone, which suggests that evodiamine-induced apoptosis in SGC-7901 cells is partially caspase independent. Further, the total content of sphingomyelin was decreased and expression of acid sphingomyelinase (aSMase) and neutral SMase genes in the SGC-7901cells was upregulated. Protein expression of aSMase, which was exposed to evodiamine, was shown to be increased by western blot analysis and could have been responsible for inducing caspase-independent apoptosis. Our results indicate that evodiamine stimulates upregulation of aSMase expression and hydrolysis of sphingomyelin into ceramide, which might be one of the mechanisms by which apoptosis occurs in SGC-7901 cells.

Heffernan-Stroud LA, Obeid LM
p53 and regulation of bioactive sphingolipids.
Adv Enzyme Regul. 2011; 51(1):219-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Both the sphingolipid and p53 pathways are important regulators- and apparent collaborators-of cell-fate decisions. Whereas some investigations have suggested that ceramide and more complex sphingolipids function upstream of p53 or in a p53-independent manner, other studies propose that p53-dependent alterations in these sphingolipids can also contribute to apoptosis. Further studies focusing on sphingolipid metabolizing enzymes have revealed that they function similarly both upstream and downstream of p53 activation. However, whereas various components of the sphingolipid and p53 pathways may simultaneously function to elicit apoptosis and/or growth inhibition, SMase and SK1 may undergo explicit regulation by p53 that could contribute to ceramide-induced senescence in cells. Thus, we propose that regulation of bioactive sphingolipid signaling molecules could be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of p53-dependent cancers.

Shoemaker R, Wang W, Zhang K
Mediators and dynamics of DNA methylation.
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2011 May-Jun; 3(3):281-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
As an inherited epigenetic marker occurring mainly on cytosines at CpG dinucleotides, DNA methylation occurs across many higher eukaryotic organisms. Looking at methylation patterns genome-wide classifies cell types uniquely and in several cases discriminates between healthy and cancerous cell types. DNA methylation can occur allele-specifically, which allows the cellular regulatory machinery to recognize each allele separately. Although only a small number of allele specifically methylated (ASM) regions are known, genome-wide experiments show that ASM is prevalent throughout the human genome. These DNA methylation patterns can be modified via DNA demethylation, which is important for induced pluripotent stem reprogramming and primordial germ cells. Recent evidence shows that the protein activation-induced cytidine deaminase plays a critical role in these demethylation events. Many transcription factors mediate DNA methylation patterns. Some transcription factors bind specifically to methylated or unmethylated sequences and other transcription factors protect genomic regions (e.g., promoter regions) from nearby DNA methylation encroachment. Possibly acting as another epigenetic regulatory layer, methylated cytosines are also converted to 5-hydroxyethylcyotines, which is a new modification type whose biological significance has yet been defined.

Böhm A, Sonneck K, Gleixner KV, et al.
In vitro and in vivo growth-inhibitory effects of cladribine on neoplastic mast cells exhibiting the imatinib-resistant KIT mutation D816V.
Exp Hematol. 2010; 38(9):744-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In most patients with systemic mastocytosis (SM), including aggressive SM (ASM) and mast cell (MC) leukemia (MCL), neoplastic cells express the oncogenic KIT mutation D816V, which confers resistance to imatinib. Cladribine (2CdA) is a nucleoside analog that has been introduced as a promising agent for treatment of advanced SM.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined the in vitro effects of 2CdA on growth of neoplastic MC, and the in vivo effects of 2CdA (0.13 mg/kg/day intravenously, days 1-5; three to eight cycles) in seven patients with advanced SM.
RESULTS: Cladribine was found to inhibit growth of primary MC and the MC line HMC-1 in a dose-dependent manner, with lower IC(50) values recorded in HMC-1.2 cells harboring KIT D816V (IC(50): 10 ng/mL) compared to HMC-1.1 cells lacking KIT D816V (IC(50): 300 ng/mL). In two patients with progressive smoldering SM, 2CdA produced a long-lasting response with a sustained decrease in serum tryptase levels, whereas in patients with progressive ASM or MCL, 2CdA showed little if any effects. The drug was well-tolerated in most cases. However, one patient developed a massive generalized purulent long-lasting skin rash. The antiproliferative effects of 2CdA on MC were found to be associated with morphologic signs of apoptosis and caspase cleavage. Cladribine did not counteract the kinase activity of KIT D816V or KIT-downstream signaling molecules.
CONCLUSIONS: Cladribine may be a promising agent for treatment of progressive smoldering KIT D816V(+) SM. In rapidly progressing ASM or MCL, additional or alternative drugs are required to induce long-lasting antineoplastic effects.

Kosaka N, Iguchi H, Yoshioka Y, et al.
Secretory mechanisms and intercellular transfer of microRNAs in living cells.
J Biol Chem. 2010; 285(23):17442-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
The existence of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in the blood of cancer patients has raised the possibility that miRNAs may serve as a novel diagnostic marker. However, the secretory mechanism and biological function of extracellular miRNAs remain unclear. Here, we show that miRNAs are released through a ceramide-dependent secretory machinery and that the secretory miRNAs are transferable and functional in the recipient cells. Ceramide, whose biosynthesis is regulated by neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2), triggers secretion of small membrane vesicles called exosomes. The decreased activity of nSMase2 with a chemical inhibitor, GW4869, and a specific small interfering RNA resulted in the reduced secretion of miRNAs. Complementarily, overexpression of nSMase2 increased extracellular amounts of miRNAs. We also revealed that the endosomal sorting complex required for transport system is unnecessary for the release of miRNAs. Furthermore, a tumor-suppressive miRNA secreted via this pathway was transported between cells and exerted gene silencing in the recipient cells, thereby leading to cell growth inhibition. Our findings shed a ray of light on the physiological relevance of secretory miRNAs.

Sauane M, Su ZZ, Dash R, et al.
Ceramide plays a prominent role in MDA-7/IL-24-induced cancer-specific apoptosis.
J Cell Physiol. 2010; 222(3):546-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) uniquely displays broad cancer-specific apoptosis-inducing activity through induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We hypothesize that ceramide, a promoter of apoptosis, might contribute to mda-7/IL-24 induction of apoptosis. Ad.mda-7-infected tumor cells, but not normal cells, showed increased ceramide accumulation. Infection with Ad.mda-7 induced a marked increase in various ceramides (C16, C24, C24:1) selectively in prostate cancer cells. Inhibiting the enzyme serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) using the potent SPT inhibitor myriocin (ISP1), impaired mda-7/IL-24-induced apoptosis and ceramide production, suggesting that ceramide formation caused by Ad.mda-7 occurs through de novo synthesis of ceramide and that ceramide is required for mda-7/IL-24-induced cell death. Fumonisin B1 (FB1) elevated ceramide formation as well as apoptosis induced by Ad.mda-7, suggesting that ceramide formation may also occur through the salvage pathway. Additionally, Ad.mda-7 infection enhanced expression of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) with a concomitant increase in ASMase activity and decreased sphingomyelin in cancer cells. ASMase silencing by RNA interference inhibited the decreased cell viability and ceramide formation after Ad.mda-7 infection. Ad.mda-7 activated protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and promoted dephosphorylation of the anti-apoptotic molecule BCL-2, a downstream ceramide-mediated pathway of mda-7/IL-24 action. Pretreatment of cells with FB1 or ISP-1 abolished the induction of ER stress markers (BiP/GRP78, GADD153 and pospho-eIF2alpha) triggered by Ad.mda-7 infection indicating that ceramide mediates ER stress induction by Ad.mda-7. Additionally, recombinant MDA-7/IL-24 protein induced cancer-specific production of ceramide. These studies define ceramide as a key mediator of an ER stress pathway that may underlie mda-7/IL-24 induction of cancer-specific killing.

Ito H, Murakami M, Furuhata A, et al.
Transcriptional regulation of neutral sphingomyelinase 2 gene expression of a human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, induced by the anti-cancer drug, daunorubicin.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Nov-Dec; 1789(11-12):681-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mg(2+)-dependent neutral SMases (NSMases) have emerged as prime candidates for stress-induced ceramide production. Among isoforms identified, previous reports have suggested the importance of NSMase2. However, its activation mechanism has not been precisely reported. Here, we analyzed the mechanism of NSMase2 gene expression by the anti-cancer drug, daunorubicin (DA). DA increased cellular ceramides (C16, C18 and C24) and NSMase activity of a human breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. DA remarkably increased the NSMase2 message and protein, whereas little change in NSMase1 and NSMase3 mRNAs and only a mild increase in acid SMase mRNA were observed. Overexpression and a knock down of NSMase2 indicated that NSMase2 played a role in DA-induced cell death. NSMase2 promoter analysis revealed that three Sp1 motifs located between -148 and -42bp upstream of the first exon were important in basic as well as in DA-induced promoter activity. Consistently, luciferase vectors containing three consensus Sp1-motifs but not its mutated form showed DA-induced transcriptional activation. DA-treated MCF-7 showed increased Sp3 protein. In SL2 cells lacking Sp family proteins, both Sp1 and Sp3 overexpression increased NSMase promoter activity. Increased binding of Sp family proteins by DA to three Sp1 motifs was shown by electrophoresis mobility shift and ChIP assays.

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