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Biochemical Effects of Veterinary Antibiotics on Proliferation and Cell Cycle Arrest of Human HEK293 Cells


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of veterinary antibiotics, including amoxicillin (AMX), chlortetracycline (CTC) and tylosin (TYL), on the biochemical mechanism of human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293). CTC and TYL inhibited HEK293 cell proliferation, in both time- and dose-dependent manners, and changed the cell morphology; whereas, AMX showed no cytotoxic effects. The cell cycle analysis of CTC and TYL revealed G1-arrest in HEK293 cells. Western blot analysis also showed that CTC and TYL affected the activation of DNA damage responsive proteins, as well as cell cycle regulatory proteins, such as p53, p21Waf1/Cip1 and Rb protein, which are crucial in the G1-S transition. The activation of p21Waf1/Cip1 was significantly up-regulated over time, but there was no change in the level of CDK2 expression. The results of this study suggest that veterinary antibiotics, even at low level concentrations on continuous exposure, can potentially risk the development of human cells.

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This research was supported by “Innovative Technology of Ecological Restoration” project at GIST.

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Correspondence to Sang Don Kim.

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Kim, H.Y., Kim, KT. & Kim, S.D. Biochemical Effects of Veterinary Antibiotics on Proliferation and Cell Cycle Arrest of Human HEK293 Cells. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 234–239 (2012).

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  • Veterinary antibiotics
  • HEK293 cells
  • Cell damage
  • Cell cycle arrest