“Dicing and Splicing” Sphingosine Kinase and Relevance to Cancer

Publisher:
MDPI AG
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2017, 18 (9), pp. 1 - 25
Issue Date:
2017-09-02
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Sphingosine kinase (SphK) is a lipid enzyme that maintains cellular lipid homeostasis. Two SphK isozymes, SphK1 and SphK2, are expressed from different chromosomes and several variant isoforms are expressed from each of the isozymes, allowing for the multi-faceted biological diversity of SphK activity. Historically, SphK1 is mainly associated with oncogenicity, however in reality, both SphK1 and SphK2 isozymes possess oncogenic properties and are recognized therapeutic targets. The absence of mutations of SphK in various cancer types has led to the theory that cancer cells develop a dependency on SphK signaling (hyper-SphK signaling) or “non-oncogenic addiction”. Here we discuss additional theories of SphK cellular mislocation and aberrant “dicing and splicing” as contributors to cancer cell biology and as key determinants of the success or failure of SphK/S1P (sphingosine 1 phosphate) based therapeutics.
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