Sphingosine inhibits phorbol 12‐myristate 13‐acetate‐, but not serum‐induced, activation of Na+/H+ exchange in mammalian cells

Robert J. Gillies, Raul Martinez, Judith M. Sneider, Patricia B. Hoyer

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9 Scopus citations


Addition of serum to quiescent mammalian cells in culture initiates a series of events which culminates in DNA replication and cell division. One of the earliest events in this sequence of events is activation of Na+/H+ exchange, which can result in an increase in intracellular pH (pHin). The regulation of this change in activity is not known. Since treatment of 3T3 cells with activators of protein kinase C (kinase C) can result in an increased pHin, it has been hypothesized that serum stimulation of kinase C is responsible for activation of Na+/H+ exchange. Recently, sphingolipids have been discovered to inhibit kinase C both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, we undertook the present study to ask whether or not inhibition of kinase C using sphingolipids prevents mitogen‐induced alkalinization in 3T3 cells. Our results indicate that activators of kinase C stimulate Na+/H+ exchange in normal human fibroblasts (BoGi), but not in mouse embryo (3T3) cells. Addition of serum to BoGi cells, on top of saturating doses of phorbol 12‐myristate 13‐acetate (PMA), results in a further cytoplasmic alkalinization. Furthermore, sphingosine prevents the PMA‐induced increase in pHin in BoGi cells, and phosphorylation of an 80 kDa protein in 3T3 cells, but not the serum‐induced alkalinization in either BoGi or 3T3 cells. These data indicate that activation of kinase C does not participate in the physiological activation of Na+/H+ exchange in human fibroblasts or mouse embryo cells by serum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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