Sphingosylphosphorylcholine regulates keratin network architecture and visco-elastic properties of human cancer cells
Beil, M × Micoulet, A von Wichert, G Paschke, S Walther, P Omary, MB Van Veldhoven, Paul P Gern, U Wolff-Hieber, E Eggermann, J Waltenberger, J Adler, G Spatz, J Seufferlein, T #
Nature publishing group
Nature cell biology vol:5 issue:9 pages:803-811
Sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) is a naturally occurring bioactive lipid that is present in high density lipoproteins (HDL) particles and found at increased levels in blood and malignant ascites of patients with ovarian cancer. Here, we show that incubation of human epithelial tumour cells with SPC induces a perinuclear reorganization of intact keratin 8-18 filaments. This effect is specific for SPC, largely independent of F-actin and microtubules, and is accompanied by keratin phosphorylation. In vivo visco-elastic probing of single cancer cells demonstrates that SPC increases cellular elasticity. Accordingly, SPC stimulates migration of cells through size-limited pores in a more potent manner than lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA induces actin stress fibre formation, but does not reorganize keratins in cancer cells and hence increases cellular stiffness. We propose that reorganization of keratin by SPC may facilitate biological phenomena that require a high degree of elasticity, such as squeezing of cells through membranous pores during metastasis.