Sphingosine kinase 2 promotes acute lymphoblastic leukemia by enhancing MYC expression

Craig Wallington-Beddoe, Jason Powell, Daochen Tong, Stuart Pitson, Kenneth Bradstock, Linda Bendall

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    58 Citations (Scopus)


    Sphingosine kinase 2 (SK2) may have utility as a prognostic marker in inflammatory diseases such as cancer in which it has been rationalized as a candidate therapeutic target. Here, we show that SK2 has an oncogenic role in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) by influencing expression of MYC. Genetic ablation of SK2 impaired leukemia development in a mouse model of ALL and pharmacologic inhibition extended survival in mouse xenograft models of human disease. SK2 attenuation in both the settings reduced MYC expression in leukemic cells, with reduced levels of acetylated histone H3 within the MYC gene associated with reduced levels of MYC protein and expression of MYC-regulated genes. Our results demonstrated that SK2 regulates MYC, which has a pivotal role in hematologic malignancies, providing a preclinical proof of concept for this pathway as a broad-based therapeutic target in this setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2803-2815
    Number of pages13
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2014


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