|Saba, J.D.; Nara F.; Bielawska, A.; Garrett, S.; Hannun, Y.A.
|The BST1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase.
|J Biol Chem
|Sphingolipids elicit a wide variety of eukaryotic cellular responses, most involving regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Sphingosine 1-phosphate, a sphingolipid catabolite, is mitogenic in fibroblasts and inhibits the chemotactic mobility and invasiveness of human tumor cells. Sphingosine 1-phosphate degradation requires cleavage at the C2-3 carbon bond by sphingosine phosphate lyase. A yeast genetic approach was used to clone the first sphingosine phosphate lyase gene, BST1. BST1 overexpression conferred resistance to sphingosine in yeast. BST1 deletion produced sensitivity to exogenous D-erythro-sphingosine and phytosphingosine and intracellular accumulation of sphingosine 1-phosphate upon exposure to exogenous sphingosine. This study confirms that sphingoid base metabolism is similar in all eukaryotes and suggests that yeast genetics may be useful in the isolation and identification of other genes involved in sphingolipid signaling and metabolism.