Barium Promotes Anchorage-Independent Growth and Invasion of Human HaCaT Keratinocytes via Activation of c-SRC Kinase
by Nguyen Dinh Thang, Ichiro Yajima, Mayuko Y. Kumasaka, Shoko Ohnuma, Takeshi Yanagishita, Rumiko Hayashi, Hossain U. Shekhar, Daisuke Watanabe, Masashi Kato
Explosive increases in skin cancers have been reported in more than 36 million patients with arsenicosis caused by drinking arsenic-polluted well water. This study and previous studies showed high levels of barium as well as arsenic in the well water. However, there have been no reports showing a correlation between barium and cancer. In this study, we examined whether barium (BaCl2) may independently have cancer-related effects on human precancerous keratinocytes (HaCaT). Barium (5–50 µM) biologically promoted anchorage-independent growth and invasion of HaCaT cells in vitro. Barium (5 µM) biochemically enhanced activities of c-SRC, FAK, ERK and MT1-MMP molecules, which regulate anchorage-independent growth and/or invasion. A SRC kinase specific inhibitor, protein phosphatase 2 (PP2), blocked barium-mediated promotion of anchorage-independent growth and invasion with decreased c-SRC kinase activity. Barium (2.5–5 µM) also promoted anchorage-independent growth and invasion of fibroblasts (NIH3T3) and immortalized nontumorigenic melanocytes (melan-a), but not transformed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HSC5 and A431) and malignant melanoma (Mel-ret) cells, with activation of c-SRC kinase. Taken together, our biological and biochemical findings newly suggest that the levels of barium shown in drinking well water independently has the cancer-promoting effects on precancerous keratinocytes, fibroblast and melanocytes in vitro.
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