First evidence of SGPL1 expression in the cell membrane silencing the extracellular S1P siren in mammary epithelial cells
The bioactive lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a main regulator of cell survival, proliferation, motility, and platelet aggregation, and it is essential for angiogenesis and lymphocyte trafficking. In that S1P acts as a second messenger intra- and extracellularly, it might promote cancer progression. The main cause is found in the high S1P concentration in the blood, which encourage cancer cells to migrate through the endothelial barrier into the blood vessels. The irreversible degradation of S1P is solely caused by the sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase (SGPL1). SGPL1 overexpression reduces cancer cell migration and therefore silences the endogenous S1P siren, which promotes cancer cell attraction—the main reason for metastasis. Since our previous metabolomics studies revealed an increased SGPL1 activity in association with successful breast cancer cell treatment in vitro, we further investigated expression and localization of SGPL1. Expression analyses confirmed a very low SGPL1 expression in all breast cancer samples, regardless of their subtype. Additionally, we were able to prove a novel SGPL expression in the cytoplasm membrane of non-tumorigenic breast cells by fusing three independent methods. The general SGPL1 downregulation and the loss of the plasma membrane expression resulted in S1P dependent stimulation of migration in the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and BT-20. Not only S1P stimulated migration could be repressed by overexpressing the natural SGPL1 variant not but also more general migratory activity was significantly reduced. Here, for the first time, we report on the SGPL1 plasma membrane location in human, non-malignant breast epithelial cell lines silencing the extracellular S1P siren in vitro, and thereby regulating pivotal cellular functions. Loss of this plasma membrane distribution as well as low SGPL1 expression levels could be a potential prognostic marker and a viable target for therapy. Therefore, the precise role of SGPL1 for cancer treatment should be evaluated.