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Lung cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer. Sphingolipids encompass metabolically interconnected species whose balance has pivotal effects on proliferation, migration, and apoptosis. In this study, we paralleled quantification of sphingolipid species with quantitative (q)PCR analyses of metabolic enzymes in order to identify dysregulated routes of sphingolipid metabolism in different subtypes of lung cancers. Lung samples were submitted to histopathological reexamination in order to confirm cancer type/subtype, which included adenocarcinoma histological subtypes and squamous cell and neuroendocrine carcinomas. Compared with benign lesions and tumor-free parenchyma, all cancers featured decreased sphingosine-1-phosphate and SMs. qPCR analyses evidenced differential mechanisms leading to these alterations between cancer types, with neuroendocrine carcinomas upregulating SGPL1, but CERT1 being downregulated in adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. 2-Hydroxyhexosylceramides (2-hydroxyHexCers) were specifically increased in adenocarcinomas. While UDP-glycosyltransferase 8 (UGT8) transcript levels were increased in all cancer subtypes, fatty acid 2-hydroxylase (FA2H) levels were higher in adenocarcinomas than in squamous and neuroendocrine carcinomas. As a whole, we report differing mechanisms through which all forms of lung cancer achieve low SM and lysosphingolipids. Our results also demonstrate that FA2H upregulation is required for the accumulation of 2-hydroxyHexCers in lung cancers featuring high levels of UGT8. Copyright © 2019 Lemay et al.


Anne-Marie Lemay, Olivier Courtemanche, Timothy A Couttas, Giuleta Jamsari, Andréanne Gagné, Yohan Bossé, Philippe Joubert, Anthony S Don, David Marsolais. High FA2H and UGT8 transcript levels predict hydroxylated hexosylceramide accumulation in lung adenocarcinoma. Journal of lipid research. 2019 Oct;60(10):1776-1786

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PMID: 31409741

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