Differential effects of sphingomyelin hydrolysis and resynthesis on the activation of NF-kappa B in normal and SV40-transformed human fibroblasts.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The precise role of ceramide in NF-kappaB signaling remains unclear. The recent observation of differential sphingomyelin synthase (SMS) activity in normal (low SMS) versus SV40-transformed (high SMS) WI38 human lung fibroblasts provides an opportunity to assess the involvement of ceramide and SMS in NF-kappaB activation. Treatment of normal WI38 fibroblasts with bacterial sphingomyelinase resulted in a 4-fold elevation of ceramide and blocked NF-kappaB activation by serum stimulation. Such inhibition was not observed in SV40-transformed fibroblasts. Under regular growth conditions, after sphingomyelinase was washed out, normal WI38 did not show SM re-synthesis nor NF-kappaB activation. In SV40-WI38, on the other hand, sphingomyelinase washout induced resynthesis of SM due to the action of SMS on ceramide generated at the plasma membrane. NF-kappaB activation correlated with SM resynthesis. This activation was abrogated by D609, which inhibited SM resynthesis but not the initial formation of ceramide. The differential activity of SMS may explain the effects of ceramide in NF-kappaB signaling: in the absence of significant SMS activity, ceramide inhibits NF-kappaB, whereas with high SMS, the conversion of the ceramide signal to a diacylglycerol signal by the action of SMS stimulates NF-kappaB. These results also suggest a role for SMS in regulating NF-kappaB.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Luberto, C; Yoo, DS; Suidan, HS; Bartoli, GM; Hannun, YA

Published Date

  • May 12, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 275 / 19

Start / End Page

  • 14760 - 14766

PubMed ID

  • 10799564

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.275.19.14760


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States