• Authors: Furuya, H., Tamashiro, P. M., Shimizu, Y., Iino, K., Peres, R., Chen, R., Sun, Y., Hannun, Y. A., Obeid, L. M., Kawamori, T.
  • Year: 2017
  • Journal: Carcinogenesis 38 1218-1227
  • Applications: in vivo / shRNA oligonucleotide / in vivo-jetPEI-Man


The in vivo-jetPEI-Man/shRNA complexes were prepared and transfected. Briefly, mice received i.p. injection of shRNA (2 mg/kg) 1 day before AOM injection, once a week for 3 weeks.


Accumulating evidence suggests that the sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1)/sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) pathway plays a pivotal role in colon carcinogenesis. Our previous studies indicate that the SphK1/S1P pathway mediates colon carcinogenesis at least by regulating cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. However, the mechanisms by which this pathway regulates colon carcinogenesis are still unclear. First, we show that SphK1 deficient mice significantly attenuated azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis as measured by colon tumor incidence, multiplicity, and volume. We found that AOM activates peritoneal macrophages to induce SphK1, COX-2, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha expression in WT mice. Interestingly, SphK1 knockout (KO) mice revealed significant reduction of COX-2 and TNF-alpha expression from AOM-activated peritoneal macrophages, suggesting that SphK1 regulates COX-2 and TNF-alpha expression in peritoneal macrophages. We found that inoculation of WT peritoneal macrophages restored the carcinogenic effect of AOM in Sphk1 KO mice as measured by aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation, preneoplastic lesions of colon cancer. In addition, downregulation of SphK1 only in peritoneal macrophage by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) reduced the number of ACF per colon induced by AOM. Intraperitoneal injection of sphingolipids demonstrates that S1P enhanced AOM-induced ACF formation, while ceramide inhibited. Finally, we show that SphK inhibitor SKI-II significantly reduced the number of ACF per colon. These results suggest that SphK1 expression plays a pivotal role in the early stages of colon carcinogenesis through regulating COX-2 and TNF-alpha expression from activated peritoneal macrophages.