Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor expression profile and regulation of migration in human thyroid cancer cells

S Balthasar, J Samulin, H Ahlgren, N Bergelin, M Lundqvist, Emil Toescu, Margaret Eggo, K Tornquist

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60 Citations (Scopus)


S1P (sphingosine 1-phosphate) receptor expression and the effects of S1P on migration were studied in one papillary (NPA), two follicular (ML-1, WRO) and two anaplastic (FRO, ARO) thyroid cancer cell lines, as well as in human thyroid cells in primary culture. Additionally, the effects of S1P on proliferation, adhesion and calcium signalling were addressed in ML-1 and FRO cells. All cell types expressed multiple S1P receptors. S1P evoked intracellular calcium signalling in primary cultures, ML-1 cells and FRO cells. Neither proliferation nor migration was affected in primary cultures, whereas S1P partly inhibited proliferation in ML-1 and FRO cells. Low nanomolar concentrations of S1P inhibited migration in FRO, WRO and ARO cells, but stimulated ML-1 cell migration. Consistently, S1P1 and S1P3, which mediate migratory responses, were strongly expressed in ML-1 cells, and S1P2, which inhibits migration, was the dominating receptor in the other cell lines. The migratory effect in ML-1 cells was mediated by G(i) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Both S1P and the S1P1-specific agonist SEW-2871 induced Akt phosphorylation at Ser473. However, SEW-2871 failed to stimulate migration, whereas the S1P1/S1P3 antagonist VPC 23019 inhibited S1P-induced migration. The results suggest that aberrant S1P receptor expression may enhance thyroid cancer cell migration and thus contribute to the metastatic behaviour of some thyroid tumours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2006


  • calcium
  • proliferation
  • tumour
  • thyroid
  • motility
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate


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