Potentiation of arsenic-induced cytotoxicity by sulfur amino acid deprivation (SAAD) through activation of ERK1/2, p38 kinase and JNK1: The distinct role of JNK1 in SAAD-potentiated mercury toxicity

Moon Ho Son, Keon Wook Kang, Chang Ho Lee, Sang Geon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sulfur amino acid deficiency occurs in certain pathophysiological situations (e.g. protein-calorie malnutrition). Previous studies revealed that sulfur amino acid deprivation (SAAD) activated MAP kinases and potentiated cadmium-induced cytotoxicity by activation of ERK1/2 in conjunction with p38 kinase or JNK. The present study was designed to determine susceptibility of cells to a variety of heavy metals in combination with SAAD. Viability was assessed in H4IIE cells treated with sodium arsenite, mercuric chloride, sodium selenite, lead acetate, chromium trioxide or manganese chloride. SAAD potentiated the cytotoxicity of H4IIE cells by arsenic or mercury (i.e. EC50, 19 and 5 μM in SAAD vs. 401 and 42 μM in control medium, respectively). TUNEL assays revealed that the potentiated arsenic or mercury toxicity involved apoptotic cell death. Lead or selenite moderately elicited cell death, which was not enhanced by SAAD. Chromium or manganese caused no significant cytotoxicity. Treatment of cells with U0126 [1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene] an ERK1/2 inhibitor or SB203580 [4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)1H-imidazole] a p38 kinase inhibitor effectively prevented SAAD-potentiated arsenic toxicity. The potentiated arsenic toxicity was also inhibited in cells stably expressing a dominant negative mutant of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 [JNK1(-)]. The inhibitors of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and p38 kinase failed to prevent mercury-induced toxicity enhanced by SAAD. JNK1(-) cells were minimally susceptible to mercury in SAAD medium. These results demonstrated that SAAD potentiated cytotoxicity induced by arsenic or mercury and that activation of ERK1/2, p38 kinase and JNK1 was responsible for the potentiated arsenic toxicity, whereas the mercury toxicity enhanced by SAAD was mediated with the activity of JNK1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology Letters
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001 Apr 8

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Cytotoxicity
  • ERK
  • Heavy metals
  • JNK
  • MAP kinase
  • Mercury
  • Sulfur amino acid
  • p38 Kinase

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