Abstract Title:

Methyl mercury influences growth-related signaling in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

Abstract Source:

Environ Toxicol. 2005 Feb ;20(1):32-44. PMID: 15712295

Abstract Author(s):

Olga A Sukocheva, Yi Yang, John F Gierthy, Richard F Seegal

Article Affiliation:

Signal Transduction Laboratory, Division of Human Immunology, Hanson Institute, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Frome Road, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.


Environmental contaminants have been shown to alter growth-regulating signaling pathways through molecular mechanisms that are mainly unclear. Here we report that within a narrow concentration range (0.5-1 microM) methyl mercury (MeHg) significantly stimulated growth of MCF-7 cells, induced Ca(2+) mobilization, and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (1/2) (Erk1/2). MeHg modulated E(2)-dependent stimulation of growth in a dose-dependent manner, although MeHg neither suppresses nor increases constitutive E(2) metabolism. MeHg demonstrated weak estrogen receptor (ER)-binding ability. However, long preincubation with antiestrogens LY(156,758) and ICI(164,384) decreased MeHg-induced foci formation, Ca(2+) mobilization, and Erk1/2 activation, confirming involvement of ERs. The MeHg-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](i) was observed to coincide with enhanced Erk1/2 phosphorylation. These data suggest that MeHg can significantly modulate the intracellular signaling environment in MCF-7 cells, resulting in a dose-dependent alteration of ER-mediated estrogenic capacity and therefore should be considered as a potential estrogen-disrupting compound.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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