Research Papers:

TNFα mediated ceramide generation triggers cisplatin induced apoptosis in B16F10 melanoma in a PKCδ independent manner

Sweta Ghosh, Junaid Jibran Jawed, Kuntal Halder, Sayantan Banerjee, Bidisha Paul Chowdhury, Akata Saha, Subir Kumar Juin, Suchandra Bhattacharyya Majumdar, Anamika Bose, Rathindranath Baral and Subrata Majumdar _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:37627-37646. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26478

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Sweta Ghosh1, Junaid Jibran Jawed1, Kuntal Halder1, Sayantan Banerjee1, Bidisha Paul Chowdhury1, Akata Saha2, Subir Kumar Juin1, Suchandra Bhattacharyya Majumdar1, Anamika Bose2, Rathindranath Baral2 and Subrata Majumdar1

1Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal 700054, India

2Department of Immunoregulation and Immunodiagnostics, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), Kolkata, West Bengal 700026, India

Correspondence to:

Subrata Majumdar, email: [email protected]

Keywords: melanoma; ceramide; PKCδ; tumor necrosis factor α; cisplatin

Received: April 19, 2018    Accepted: December 04, 2018    Published: December 28, 2018


Ceramide is one of the important cellular components involved in cancer regulation and exerts its pleiotropic role in the protective immune response without exhibiting any adverse effects during malignant neoplasm. Although, the PKCδ-ceramide axis in cancer cells has been an effective target in reduction of cancer, involvement of PKCδ in inducing nephrotoxicity have become a major questionnaire. In the present study, we have elucidated the mechanism by which cisplatin exploits the ceramide to render cancer cell apoptosis leading to the abrogation of malignancy in a PKCδ independent pathway with lesser toxicity. Our study revealed that cisplatin treatment in PKCδ silenced melanoma cells induces ceramide mediated apoptosis. Moreover, cisplatin induced upregulation of the transcription factor IRF1 leading to the induction of the transcriptional activity of the TNFα promoter was evident from the pharmacological inhibition and RNA interference studies. Increased cellular expression of TNFα resulted in an elevated ceramide generation by stimulating acid-sphingomyelinase and cPLA2. Furthermore, reciprocity in the regulation of sphingosine kinase 1 (Sphk1) and sphingosine kinase 2 (Sphk2) during PKCδ independent ceramide generation was also observed during cisplatin treatment. PKCδ inhibited murine melanoma model showed reduction in nephrotoxicity along with tumor regression by ceramide generation. Altogether, the current study emphasized the unexplored signaling cascade of ceramide generation by cisplatin during PKCδ silenced condition, which is associated with increased TNFα generation. Our findings enlightened the detailed mechanistic insight of ceramide mediated signaling by chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer therapy exploring a new range of targets for cancer treatment strategies.

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