High expression of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors, S1P1 and S1P3, sphingosine kinase 1, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 is associated with development of tamoxifen resistance in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients

C. Watson, J.S. Long, C. Orange, C.L. Tannahill, E. Mallon, L.M. McGlynn, S. Pyne, N.J. Pyne, J. Edwards

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Various studies in cell lines have previously demonstrated that sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK-1/2) interact in an estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent manner to influence both breast cancer cell growth and migration. A cohort of 304 ER-positive breast cancer patients was used to investigate the prognostic significance of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptors 1, 2, and 3 (ie, S1P1, S1P2, and S1P3), SK1, and ERK-1/2 expression levels. Expression levels of both SK1 and ERK-1/2 were already available for the cohort, and S1P1, S1P2, and S1P3 levels were established by immunohistochemical analysis. High membrane S1P1 expression was associated with shorter time to recurrence (P = 0.008). High cytoplasmic S1P1 and S1P3 expression levels were also associated with shorter disease-specific survival times (P = 0.036 and P = 0.019, respectively). Those patients with tumors that expressed high levels of both cytoplasmic SK1 and ERK-1/2 had significantly shorter recurrence times than those that expressed low levels of cytoplasmic SK1 and cytoplasmic ERK-1/2 (P = 0.00008), with a difference in recurrence time of 10.5 years. Similarly, high cytoplasmic S1P1 and cytoplasmic ERK-1/2 expression levels (P = 0.004) and high cytoplasmic S1P3 expression and cytoplasmic ERK-1/2 expression levels (P = 0.004) were associated with shorter recurrence times. These results support a model in which the interaction between SK1, S1P1, and/or S1P3 and ERK-1/2 might drive breast cancer progression, and these findings, therefore, warrant further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2215
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • breast cancer
  • oncology
  • sphingosine kinase 1

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