Relevance of the Salvage Pathway to N-Hexanoylsphingosine Metabolic Downregulation in Human Neurotumor Cells: Implications for Apoptosis
N-Hexanoylsphingosine (C6-Cer) is currently being evaluated as an antineoplastic agent, after preclinical studies showing its property to reduce tumor growth. Herein it is reported that the cytotoxic effect of C6-Cer, as observed in CHP-100 neurotumor cells, impinges on its continuous uptake from the culture medium, ensuring maintainance of elevated steady-state intracellular levels, in the face of the rapid metabolic removal. C6-Cer metabolism not only does occur by direct glucosylation but is also relevantly driven by utilization via the sphingosine salvage pathway, leading to accumulation of natural ceramide that, in CHP-100 cells, has been demonstrated to lack apoptotic properties. Upon inhibition of glucosylceramide synthase by D,L-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol, previously shown to enhance C6-Cer cytotoxic activity, short-chain ceramide metabolism was partly redirected to the salvage pathway, likely attenuating the chemosensitizing effect of the above-mentioned compound. Elucidation of the metabolic machinery driving C6-Cer recycling via the salvage pathway might thus be relevant for optimization of its therapeutic utilization.
Keywords: Salvage Pathway, Human Neurotumor Cells, Apoptosis, Downregulation, N-Hexanoylsphingosine, C6-Cer, glucosylceramide synthase, recycling, glucosylceramide, Ceramides
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