S1P metabolism in cancer and other pathological conditions.Biochimie. 2010 Jun; 92(6):716-23.B
Nearly two decades ago, the sphingolipid metabolite sphingosine 1-phosphate was discovered to function as a lipid mediator and regulator of cell proliferation. Since that time, sphingosine 1-phosphate has been shown to mediate a diverse array of fundamental biological processes including cell proliferation, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, vascular maturation and lymphocyte trafficking. Sphingosine 1-phosphate acts primarily via signaling through five ubiquitously expressed G protein-coupled receptors. Intracellular sphingosine 1-phosphate molecules are transported extracellularly and gain access to cognate receptors for autocrine and paracrine signaling and for signaling at distant sites reached through blood and lymphatic circulation systems. Intracellular pools of sphingosine 1-phosphate available for signaling are tightly regulated primarily by three enzymes: sphinosine kinase, S1P lyase and S1P phosphatase. Alterations in sphingosine 1-phosphate as well as the enzymes involved in its synthesis and catabolism have been observed in many types of malignancy. These enzymes are being evaluated for their role in mediating cancer formation and progression, as well as their potential to serve as targets of anti-cancer therapeutics. In this review, the impact of sphingosine 1-phosphate, its cognate receptors, and the enzymes of sphingosine 1-phosphate metabolism on cell survival, apoptosis, autophagy, cellular transformation, invasion, angiogenesis and hypoxia in relation to cancer biology and treatment are discussed.