Transcriptional Modulation of the ERK1/2 MAPK and NF-kB Pathways in Human Urothelial Cells After Trivalent Arsenical Exposure: Implications for Urinary Bladder Cancer


  • Kathryn A. Bailey Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
  • Kathleen Wallace National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • Lisa Smeester Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
  • Sheau-Fung Thai National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • Douglas C. Wolf National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • Stephen W. Edwards National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • Rebecca C. Fry Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA



Arsenite, gene expression, microarray, urinary bladder cancer, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase, nuclear factor kappa beta, inflammation, monomethylarsonous acid, dimethylarsinous acid, UROtsa, MMA, DMA.


 Chronic exposure to drinking water contaminated with inorganic arsenic (iAs) is associated with an increased risk of urinary bladder (UB) cancers in humans. The exact role of specific iAs metabolite(s) in As-mediated carcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Experimental evidence suggests that trivalent arsenicals, namely arsenite (iAsIII) and two of its metabolites, monomethylarsonous acid (MMAIII) and dimethylarsinous acid (DMAIII), are possible proximate UB carcinogens. Here, we used a transcriptomics approach to examine perturbed molecular pathways in a human urothelial cell line (UROtsa) after short-term exposure to iAsIII, MMAIII and DMAIII. Molecular pathways containing genes that encode proteins implicated in UB cancer development were perturbed by both MMAIII and DMAIII. These pathways included those of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK 1/2 MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB). Together, these results may inform the current understanding of effects in the UB induced by acute As exposure and the relationship of these effects with As-mediated carcinogenesis.


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How to Cite

Kathryn A. Bailey, Kathleen Wallace, Lisa Smeester, Sheau-Fung Thai, Douglas C. Wolf, Stephen W. Edwards, & Rebecca C. Fry. (2012). Transcriptional Modulation of the ERK1/2 MAPK and NF-kB Pathways in Human Urothelial Cells After Trivalent Arsenical Exposure: Implications for Urinary Bladder Cancer. Journal of Cancer Research Updates, 1(1),  57–68.