Inhibition of phorbol ester-dependent differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemic (HL-60) cells by sphinganine and other long-chain bases

J Biol Chem. 1986 Sep 25;261(27):12610-5.


The effects of long-chain (sphingoid) bases on the phorbol ester-dependent differentiation of HL-60 cells were investigated since these molecules are potent inhibitors of protein kinase C (Hannun, Y. A., Loomis, C. R., Merrill, A. H., Jr., and Bell, R. M. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 12604-12609). After 24 h, low concentrations of sphinganine (1-5 microM blocked both cell adherence and the inhibition of growth in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, as measured by cell number and acid phosphatase activity. Sphinganine and sphingosine decreased adherence by 50% at 1-3 microM; other long-chain bases were effective in parallel to their inhibition of protein kinase C. Sphinganine decreased the binding of [3H]phorbol dibutyrate by the phorbol receptor of HL-60 cells, protein kinase C, and inhibited the response of HL-60 cells to dioctanoylglycerol, a cell permeable activator of this enzyme. Long-chain base uptake by HL-60 cells was demonstrated with [3-3H]sphinganine and within 1-3 days much had been converted to ceramides. By day 3, most of the cells had recovered the ability to adhere and exhibited macrophage characteristics, whereas cells in suspension did not differentiate. The level of free sphinganine in HL-60 cells was determined to be 12.3 +/- 1.2 pmol/10(6) cells. These results establish that sphingoid bases inhibit protein kinase C in HL-60 cells and may function physiologically as negative effectors of this enzyme.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology*
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate
  • Phorbol Esters / pharmacology*
  • Protein Kinase C / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Phorbol Esters
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Sphingosine
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • safingol