FTY720 stimulated ROS generation and the Sty1/Atf1 signaling pathway in the fission yeastSchizosaccharomyces pombe

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Fingolimod hydrochloride (FTY720) is the first-in-class immune modulator known as sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor agonists. FTY720 has also been reported to exert a variety of physiological functions such as antitumor effect, angiogenesis inhibition, and Ca2+ mobilization. Here, we show that FTY720 treatment induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, and investigated the effect of FTY720 on the stress-activated MAP kinase Spc1/Sty1, a functional homologue of p38 MAPK, using aRenillaluciferase reporter construct fused to the CRE, which gives an accurate measure of the transcriptional activity of Atf1 and thus serves as a faithful readout of the Spc1/Sty1 MAPK signaling in response to oxidative stresses. FTY720 stimulated the CRE responses in a concentration-dependent manner, which was markedly reduced by deletion of the components of the Spc1/Sty1 MAPK pathway. The blockade of ROS production by NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine) significantly reversed the FTY720-induced ROS accumulation, subsequent activation of the Spc1/Sty1 MAPK pathway, and inhibition of cell proliferation. Cells lacking the components of the Spc1/Sty1 MAPK exhibited higher sensitivity to FTY720 and higher ROS levels upon FTY720 treatment than in wild-type cells. Thus, our results demonstrate the usefulness of fission yeast for elucidating the FTY720-mediated signaling pathways involving ROS.

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