Research ArticleMitosis

Sphingosine 1-phosphate signaling through its receptor S1P5 promotes chromosome segregation and mitotic progression

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Sci. Signal.  28 Mar 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 472, eaah4007
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aah4007

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Sphingolipids stimulate mitosis

Drugs that attempt to halt the increased rate of cell division or mitosis in tumors are usually toxic to healthy cells as well. Thus, identifying a more cancer-specific target that promotes cell division may be more effective and may have fewer side effects. Andrieu et al. found that the kinase SphK1 and its lysophospholipid product (S1P) stimulated mitosis through a pathway that is associated with cell proliferation. Both SphK1 and S1P are increased in abundance in many cancer types, and drugs that target the downstream pathway are in clinical trials. The findings reveal an unexpected potential therapeutic target to limit tumor cell proliferation.