A new model for regulation of sphingosine kinase 1 translocation to the plasma membrane in breast cancer cells

Ryan D. R. Brown, Ben E. P. Veerman, Jeongah Oh, Rothwelle J. Tate, Federico Torta, Margaret R. Cunningham, David R. Adams, Susan Pyne, Nigel J. Pyne

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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The translocation of sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) to the plasma membrane (PM) is crucial in promoting oncogenesis. We have previously proposed that SK1 exists as both a monomer and dimer in equilibrium, although it is unclear whether these species translocate to the PM via the same or different mechanisms. We therefore investigated the structural determinants involved to better understand how translocation might potentially be targeted for therapeutic intervention. We report here that monomeric WT mouse SK1 (GFP-mSK1) translocates to the PM of MCF-7L cells stimulated with carbachol or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, whereas the dimer translocates to the PM in response to sphingosine-1phosphate; thus, the equilibrium between the monomer and dimer is sensitive to cellular stimulus. In addition, carbachol and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate induced translocation of monomeric GFP-mSK1 to lamellipodia, whereas sphingosine-1-phosphate induced translocation of dimeric GFP-mSK1 to filopodia, suggesting that SK1 regulates different cell biological processes dependent on dimerization. GFP-mSK1 mutants designed to modulate dimerization confirmed this difference in localization. Regulation by the C-terminal tail of SK1 was investigated using GFP-mSK1 truncations. Removal of the last five amino acids (PPEEP) prevented translocation of the enzyme to the PM, whereas removal of the last ten amino acids restored translocation. This suggests that the penultimate five amino acids (SRRGP) function as a translocation brake, which can be released by sequestration of the PPEEP sequence. We propose that these determinants alter the arrangement of N-terminal and C-terminal domains in SK1, leading to unique surfaces that promote differential translocation to the PM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100674
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Early online date16 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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