Overcoming MDR-associated chemoresistance in HL-60 acute myeloid leukemia cells by targeting sphingosine kinase-1

E Bonhoure, D Pchejetski, N Aouali, H Morjani, T Levade, T Kohama, O Cuvillier

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161 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the involvement of sphingosine kinase-1, a critical regulator of the sphingolipid balance, in susceptibility to antineoplastic agents of either sensitive or multidrug-resistant acute myeloid leukemia cells. Contrary to parental HL-60 cells, doxorubicin and etoposide failed to trigger apoptosis in chemoresistant HL-60/Doxo and HL-60NP16 cells overexpressing MRP1 and MDR1, respectively. Chemosensitive HL-60 cells displayed sphingosine kinase-1 inhibition coupled with ceramide generation. In contrast, chemoresistant HL-60/ Doxo and HL-60/VP16 had sustained sphingosine kinase-1 activity and did not produce ceramide during treatment. Enforced expression of sphingosine kinase-1 in chemosensitive HL-60 cells resulted in marked inhibition of apoptosis that was mediated by blockade of mitochondrial cytochrome c efflux hence suggesting a control of apoptosis at the pre-mitochondrial level. Incubation with cell-permeable ceramide of chemoresistant cells led to a sphingosine kinase-1 inhibition and apoptosis both prevented by sphingosine kinase-1 over-expression. Furthermore, F-12509a, a new sphingosine kinase inhibitor, led to ceramide accumulation, decrease in sphingosine 1-phosphate content and caused apoptosis equally in chemosensitive and chemoresistant cell lines that is inhibited by adding sphingosine 1-phosphate or overexpressing sphingosine kinase-1. F-12509a induced classical apoptosis hallmarks namely nuclear fragmentation, caspase-3 cleavage as well as downregulation of antiapoptotic XIAP, and release of cytochrome c and SMAC/Diablo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Acute Disease
  • Apoptosis
  • Benzoquinones
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Ceramides
  • Doxorubicin
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Etoposide
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid
  • Mitochondria
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid

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