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Ceramide synthase 6 modulates TRAIL sensitivity and nuclear translocation of active caspase-3 in colon cancer cells.

ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that the death receptor ligand TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) induces an increase of intracellular C(16)-ceramide in sensitive SW480 but not in resistant SW620 cells. Resistance in SW620 cells was overcome by exogenous ceramide, leading us to propose that defective ceramide signaling contributes to TRAIL resistance. In this study we found that the increase in C(16)-ceramide in SW480 cells was inhibited by fumonisin B1, an inhibitor of ceramide synthases (CerS). Protein analysis revealed that TRAIL-resistant SW620 cells expressed lower levels of ceramide synthase 6 (CerS6, also known as longevity assurance homologue 6), which prompted us to investigate the effect of CerS6 modulation on TRAIL phenotype. RNAi against CerS6 resulted in a specific and significant decrease of the C(16)-ceramide species, which was sufficient to inhibit TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In cells with decreased levels of CerS6, caspase-3 was activated but failed to translocate into the nucleus. CerS6 localized primarily to the perinuclear region, suggesting this enzyme may be important in regulation of nuclear permeability. Moderate elevation in CerS6 expression was sufficient to reverse TRAIL resistance in SW620 cells. These results suggest that modulation of CerS6 expression may constitute a new therapeutic strategy to alter apoptotic susceptibility.

SUBMITTER: White-Gilbertson S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2648838 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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