Fluo-3 AM and BAPTA AM were purchased from Molecular Probes (Eugene, OR, U.S.A.). D-erythro-sphingosine-1-phosphate, D-erythro-N,N-dimethylsphingosine, dihydro-sphingosine-1-phosphate, and GF109203× were from Biomol (Plymouth meeting, PA, U.S.A.) and D-erythro-sphingosine from Sigma (St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.). Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), the sphingosine kinase inhibitor 2-(p-Hydroxyanilino)-4-(p-chlorophenyl)thiazole (SKi), PD98059, Bay 11-7082, and Wortmannin were from Calbiochem (Darmstadt, Germany). [3H]-sphingosine was from NEN Life Science Products (Boston, MA, U.S.A.). U73122 and Pertussis toxin were purchased from Sigma (St Louis, MO, U.S.A.). VPC 23019 was from Avanti (Alabaster AL, U.S.A.). FLAG-tagged TRAIL and SuperFasLigand were from Alexis (San Diego, CA, U.S.A.). TRAIL was crosslinked with M2 anti-FLAG antibody (Sigma, St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.) prior to stimulating cells. The S1P2,4,5 antibodies were from Santa Cruz Biotechnology (Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A.), and the S1P1,3 antibodies were from both Santa Cruz and Cayman Chemicals (Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A.). Pre designad SMARTpool siRNA's were purchased from Dharmacon (Lafayette, CO, U.S.A.).
HeLa cells and MEL-7 cells were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, 2 mM L-glutamine, and 50 U/ml penicillin and 50 μg/ml streptomycin at 37°C in a water-saturated atmosphere of 5% CO2 and 95% air. Cells were cultured in medium with serum replaced by 0.2% fatty acid free BSA 24 h prior to experiments. WM35 cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum, 2 mM L-glutamine, 5 μg/ml insulin, and 50 U/ml penicillin and 50 μg/ml streptomycin at 37°C in a water-saturated atmosphere of 5% CO2 and 95% air.
RNA was isolated using High Pure RNA Isolation Kit from Roche (Mannheim, Germany). For synthesis of cDNA SuperScript III from Invitrogen (Paisley, Scotland) was used and DynaZyme EXT from FinnZymes (Espoo, Finland) was used for the PCR-reactions. All steps were done according to the instructions given by the manufacturers. PCR reactions were performed by first heating the reaction mix to 94°C for 5 minutes. This was followed by 29 cycles of 30 seconds at 94°C, 60 seconds at the annealing temperature and elongation 60 seconds at 72°C. The primers, annealing temperatures, and product lengths were: S1P1, sense GGCTGGAACTGCATCAGTGCG, antisense GAGCAGCGCCACATTCTCAGAGC, 60°C, 223 bp; S1P2, sense CCGAAACAGCAAGTTCCACT, antisense CCAGGAGGCTGAAGACAGAG, 61°C, 197 bp; S1P3, sense AAGGCTCAGTGGTTCATCGT, antisense GCTATTGTTGCTGCTGCTTG, 61°C, 201 bp; S1P4, sense CCTTCAGCCTGCTCTTCACT, antisense AAGAGGATGTAGCGCTTGGA, 64°C, 223 bp; S1P5, sense AGGACTTCGCTTTTGCTCTG, antisense TCTAGAATCCACGGGGTCTG, 59°C, 201 bp.
Cells (roughly 270 000 cells per 35-mm cell culture plate) were incubated over night in medium with serum replaced by 0.2% fatty acid-free BSA. Cells were then stimulated with agonist or vehicle together with [3
H] sphingosine (~ 200,000 cpm) with fatty acid free BSA as carrier. Lipids were extracted by aspirating the culture medium and adding 500 μl of ice-cold methanol to the cells. Cells were scraped from the petri dishes and transferred to eppendorf tubes. The tubes were sonicated for 5 minutes and then centrifuged at 6,000 g for 10 minutes to remove cell debris. The supernatant was then transferred to glass vials. S1P was added to each sample for identification and the supernatant was evaporated. For measurements of secreted S1P, [3
H]S1P was extracted from the medium as previously described previously [29
]. Briefly, 2.2 ml of chloroform: methanol: HCl (50:50:1) was used to extract S1P from 900 μl medium. The organic phase was collected and evaporated. After re-dissolving in methanol the samples were spotted onto HPTLC plates and separated with butan-1-ol: acetic acid: water (3:1:1, v/v). S1P was stained with ninhydrin and spots were scraped and the formed [3
H]S1P was counted using liquid scintillation. From a typical experiment the recovered counts of intracellular and secreted [3
H]S1P at basal conditions were 449 ± 69 cpm and 175 ± 20 cpm, respectively in HeLa cells. Under similar conditions 225 ± 34 cpm was extracted from MEL-7 cells and 557 ± 61 cpm from the medium. WM35 cells had a basal cellular [3
H]S1P of 213 ± 18 cpm and secreted 288 ± 55 cpm.
Construction of a viral vector containing human SphK1 and transduction of HeLa cells
Human SphK cDNA was cloned and FLAG -tagged at the 3' end according to Pitson et al [30
]. The SphK-FLAG fragment was PCR amplified by using primers with 5' Mlu
I and 3' Sal
I sites and cloned into the WPT-GFP lentiviral vector which had been digested with Mlu
I and Sal
I to remove the GFP gene. Lentiviral vectors expressing the SphK-FLAG construct were produced by transient three plasmid cotransfection into HEK 293T cells by using calcium phosphate precipitation. The three plasmid mixture consisted of 14.5 μg WPT-SphKFLAG, 8.3 μg pCMVΔR8.91 and 2.1 μg MD.G (all plasmids were a kind gift from Dr. D. Trono, Lausanne, Switzerland). The virus-containing media were harvested 48 hours later by filtering the media through 0.45 μm pore size filter and centrifuging at 16 000 g for 2.5 h at +4°C. The resulting pellets were resuspended in 200 μl serum free DMEM. For transduction HeLa cells were plated on 6-well plates (1 × 105
per well) and 24 hours later virus together with 8 μg/ml Polybrene was added at multiplicity of infection 10 and incubated for 6 hours after which time the medium was replaced with fresh medium.
siRNA mediated knock down
The cells were grown to 90% confluency, and transfection was done with N-TER transfection reagent according to the manufacturer's protocol for serum-free transfection with slight modifications. The siRNA was added to the cells at a final concentration of 100 nM. Following a 24 hour incubation with the siRNA reagent, the medium was changed to fresh medium containing 0.2% Fatty acid free BSA. Following another 24 h incubation the cells were used for experiments.
NF-κB activation assay
Cells grown on 60 mm petri dishes were harvested and pelleted in ice cold PBS. The cell pellet was quick-freezed and resuspended in 150 μl buffer containing 25% glycerol, 0.42 M NaCl, 1.5 mM MgCl2, 0.2 mM EDTA, 20 mM Hepes (pH 7.9), 0.5 mM DTT, and 0.5 mM PMSF. The extract was then centrifuged at 15,000 × g for 20 minutes at +4°C. The supernatant was collected and protein concentrations were determined. Two methods for assaying NF-κB (p65) DNA-binding activity were used. NFκB transactivation capacity was measured from the extracts either by using a Trans-AM NF-κB (p65) transcription factor assay kit (Active Motif, Carlsbad, CA) according to the manufacturers' instructions, or by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). The results from the Trans-AM NF-κB (p65) transcription factor assay kit are presented as percent activation with the stimulated control set to 100% and the unstimulated control as 0%. This was made to compensate for between-experiment differences in NF-κB activation. For the EMSA experiments, the consensus NF-κB binding site (5'-AGCTTCAGAGGGGACTTTCCGAGAGG-3') was 32P-labeled. Protein-DNA complexes were separated on a native 4% polyacrylamide gel. The gel was dried and exposed to autoradiography film over night. Both methods measure NF-κB activity by detecting it binding to its consensus binding sequence.
Cells were assayed using an active caspase-3 detection kit from BD Pharmingen according to the manufacturers' instructions. In brief, cells were collected in eppendorf tubes, spun down and washed twice in 1 ml PBS. The cells were resuspended in 150 μl Cytofix/Cytoperm™ Solution. Following a 20 minute incubation on ice the cells were washed twice with 0.5 ml Perm/Wash™ Buffer. The cells were then incubated with the phycoerythrin-labelled antibody against active caspase-3 (1:20 in 100 μl Perm/Wash™ Buffer). The cells were washed once in 1 ml Perm/Wash™ Buffer. The cells were resuspended in 0.5 ml Perm/Wash™ Buffer and were then analyzed by flowcytometry using a BD FACScan and Cell Quest software.
35 mm-petri dishes were washed once with cold HBSS, and scraped in 70 μl lysis buffer (10 mM Tris/HCl (pH 7.7), 150 mM NaCl, 7 mM EDTA, 0.5% NP-40, 0.2 mM PMSF, and 0.5 μg/ml leupeptin). Lysates were kept on ice for 15 minutes and were then centrifuged at 10,000 g for 15 minutes. 3 × Laemmli's buffer was mixed with the supernatant and the solution was heated to 95°C for 3 minutes. Proteins were separated by 10% SDS-PAGE and transferred onto a nitrocellulose membrane. The primary antibodies used were anti-Bcl-xL from Santa Cruz (CA, U.S.A.) and anti-Hsc70 from Stressgen (Victoria, Canada). HRP conjugated secondary antibodies were used, and bands were exposed on film by chemiluminescence.
Results are expressed as means ± SEM from a minimum of three independent experiments. Statistical analysis was made using Student's t test for paired observations. When three or more means were tested, one way ANOVA was performed followed by Dunnett's test for multiple comparisons against a single control. Statistical significance (p < 0.05) is denoted with *.