Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Src regulates cigarette smoke-induced ceramide generation via neutral sphingomyelinase 2 in the airway epithelium

  • Author(s): Chung, S
  • Vu, S
  • Filosto, S
  • Goldkorn, T
  • et al.

Copyright © 2015 by the American Thoracic Society. We previously demonstrated that the neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase) 2 is the sole sphingomyelinase activated during cigarette smoke (CS)-induced oxidative stress of human airway epithelial cells, leading to ceramide generation and subsequent apoptosis of affected cells. Since then, we reported that nSMase2 is a phosphoprotein, the degree of enzymatic activity and stability of which are dictated by its degree of phosphorylation. Simultaneously, the non-receptor tyrosine kinase and protooncogene Src has increasingly become a target of interest in both smoking-related lung injury, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. Within this context, we tested and now present Src as a regulator of ceramide generation via modulation of nSMase2 phosphorylation and activity during CS-induced oxidative stress. Specifically, we provide evidence that Src activity is necessary for both CS-induced ceramide accumulation in vivo (129/Sv mice) and in vitro (human airway epithelial cells) and for nSMase2 activity during CS-induced oxidative stress. Moreover, because nSMase2 is exclusively phosphorylated on serines, we show that this occurs through Src-dependent activation of the serine/threonine kinase p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase during oxidative stress. Finally, we provide evidence that Src and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activities are critical for regulating nSMase2 phosphorylation. This study provides insights into a molecular target involved in smoking-related lung injury, represented here as nSMase2, and its modulation by the oncogene Src.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View