Ether lipid and sphingolipid expression patterns are estrogen receptor-dependently altered in breast cancer cells

Lisa Hahnefeld, Lisa Gruber, Nina Schömel, Caroline Fischer, Peter Mattjus, Robert Gurke, Martina Beretta, Nerea Ferreirós, Gerd Geisslinger, Marthe-Susanna Wegner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Identifying co-expression of lipid species is challenging, but indispensable to identify novel therapeutic targets for breast cancer treatment. Lipid metabolism is often dysregulated in cancer cells, and changes in lipid metabolism affect cellular processes such as proliferation, autophagy, and tumor development. In addition to mRNA analysis of sphingolipid metabolizing enzymes, we performed liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis in three breast cancer cell lines. These breast cancer cell lines differ in estrogen receptor and G-protein coupled estrogen receptor 1 status. Our data show that sphingolipids and non-sphingolipids are strongly increased in SKBr3 cells. SKBr3 cells are estrogen receptor negative and G-protein coupled estrogen receptor 1 positive. Treatment with G15, a G-protein coupled estrogen receptor 1 antagonist, abolishes the effect of increased sphingolipid and non-sphingolipid levels in SKBr3 cells. In particular, ether lipids are expressed at much higher levels in cancer compared to normal cells and are strongly increased in SKBr3 cells. Our analysis reveals that this is accompanied by increased sphingolipid levels such as ceramide, sphingadiene-ceramide and sphingomyelin. This shows the importance of focusing on more than one lipid class when investigating molecular mechanisms in breast cancer cells. Our analysis allows unbiased screening for different lipid classes leading to identification of co-expression patterns of lipids in the context of breast cancer. Co-expression of different lipid classes could influence tumorigenic potential of breast cancer cells. Identification of co-regulated lipid species is important to achieve improved breast cancer treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105834
Pages (from-to)
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • sphingolipids
  • ether lipid

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