Expression profiling of genes regulated by sphingosine kinase1 signaling in a murine model of hyperoxia induced neonatal bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Viswanathan Natarajan, Alison W. Ha, Yangbasai Dong, Narsa M. Reddy, David L. Ebenezer, Prasad Kanteti, Sekhar P. Reddy, J. Usha Raj, Zhengdeng Lei, Mark Maienschein-Cline, Zarema Arbieva, Anantha Harijith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Sphingosine- 1-Phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid and an intracellular as well as an extracellular signaling molecule. S1P ligand specifically binds to five related cell surface G-protein-coupled receptors (S1P1-5). S1P levels are tightly regulated by its synthesis catalyzed by sphingosine kinases (SphKs) 1 & 2 and catabolism by S1P phosphatases, lipid phosphate phosphatases and S1P lyase. We previously reported that knock down of SphK1 (Sphk1 -/- ) in a neonatal mouse BPD model conferred significant protection against hyperoxia induced lung injury. To better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms, genome-wide gene expression profiling was performed on mouse lung tissue using Affymetrix MoGene 2.0 array. Results: Two-way ANOVA analysis was performed and differentially expressed genes under hyperoxia were identified using Sphk1 -/- mice and their wild type (WT) equivalents. Pathway (PW) enrichment analyses identified several signaling pathways that are likely to play a key role in hyperoxia induced lung injury in the neonates. These included signaling pathways that were anticipated such as those involved in lipid signaling, cell cycle regulation, DNA damage/apoptosis, inflammation/immune response, and cell adhesion/extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. We noted hyperoxia induced downregulation of the expression of genes related to mitotic spindle formation in the WT which was not observed in Sphk1 -/- neonates. Our data clearly suggests a role for SphK1 in neonatal hyperoxic lung injury through elevated inflammation and apoptosis in lung tissue. Further, validation by RT-PCR on 24 differentially expressed genes showed 83% concordance both in terms of fold change and vectorial changes. Our findings are in agreement with previously reported human BPD microarray data and completely support our published in vivo findings. In addition, the data also revealed a significant role for additional unanticipitated signaling pathways involving Wnt and GADD45. Conclusion: Using SphK1 knockout mice and differential gene expression analysis, we have shown here that S1P/SphK1 signaling plays a key role in promoting hyperoxia induced DNA damage, inflammation, apoptosis and ECM remodeling in neonatal lungs. It also appears to suppress pro-survival cellular responses involved in normal lung development. We therefore propose SphK1 as a therapeutic target for the development drugs to combat BPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number664
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 29 2017


  • Lipid signaling
  • Neonatal lung injury
  • Oxidative stress
  • Sphingosine 1 phosphate
  • Sphingosine kinase 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

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