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Synthetic, non-natural sphingolipid analogs inhibit the biosynthesis of cellular sphingolipids, elevate ceramide and induce apoptotic cell death

Synthetic, non-natural sphingolipid analogs inhibit the biosynthesis of cellular sphingolipids, elevate ceramide and induce apoptotic cell death

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1633(3): 161-169, 22 September

Numerous studies have demonstrated the participation of sphingolipids in signal transduction and regulation of cell growth. Several cellular stress agents have been shown to elevate ceramide, the basic precursor of all sphingolipids, initiating a cascade of events leading to arrest of the cell cycle, apoptosis and cell death. Aiming at inhibiting metabolic pathways of sphingolipid metabolism that might lead to an increase of cellular ceramide, we have synthesized non-natural analogs of ceramide, sphingosine and trimethylsphingosine. When the respective analogs were applied to HL60 human myeloid leukemic cells they inhibited the biosynthesis of sphingomyelin (SPM) and glycosphingolipids and induced apoptosis that led to cell death. A fluorescent procedure which has been developed for quantifying the biosynthesis of cellular ceramide indicated an increase in the ceramide content following an incubation with the synthetic analogs. These results suggest that the newly synthesized sphingolipid analogs might be valuable for potential application as a therapeutic modality in leukemia and other malignancies.

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Accession: 011446420

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PMID: 14499735

DOI: 10.1016/s1388-1981(03)00122-7

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