Chronic exposure to submicromolar arsenite promotes the migration of human esophageal Het1A cells induced by heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor
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Chronic arsenic exposure causes cancers in multiple organs in humans. However, the mechanisms underlying arsenic-induced carcinogenesis remain obscure. Here, we examined whether chronic arsenite (As(III)) exposure promotes cell migration induced by heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) in human esophageal immortalized Het1A cells. When Het1A cells were exposed to 0.5 μM As(III) for 4 months, HB-EGF-induced migration was enhanced in As(III)-exposed Het1A cells compared to controls. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the promotion of HB-EGF-induced migration by chronic exposure to As(III), we compared ERK phosphorylation between As(III)-exposed and control Het1A cells and found that HB-EGF-induced ERK phosphorylation was enhanced in the As(III)-exposed cells. We next measured mRNA levels of 88 genes related to cell cycle regulation. The results showed elevated cyclin D1 mRNA levels in As(III)-exposed Het1A cells. The inhibitors of ERK and cyclin D/Cdk4 markedly suppressed HB-EGF-induced upregulation of cyclin D1 and the migration of Het1A cells, respectively, suggesting that cyclin D1 is located downstream of ERK and is required for HB-EGF-induced migration of Het1A cells. Collectively, these findings indicate that the promotion of HB-EGF-induced migration of Het1A cells chronically exposed to submicromolar As(III) might be caused by increased expression of cyclin D1 mediated by enhanced activation of the ERK pathway.
KeywordsArsenic Cyclin D1 HB-EGF Migration
This work was supported by a grant-in-aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of Japan (No. 24310048).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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