Induction of vascular endothelial growth factor expression and hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha protein by the oxidative stressor arsenite.
ABSTRACT Recent evidence suggests that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is up-regulated by oxidative stressors through activation of hypoxia-inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1). To investigate whether this is a general phenomenon, we studied the effects of the sulfhydryl reagent arsenite on VEGF expression in human ovarian cancer cells. Arsenite potently induces the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in several cell systems and directly interacts with sulfhydryl groups of cellular thiols. We report that arsenite induces VEGF mRNA and protein levels in normoxic H134 and OVCAR-3 cells. Arsenite also increases HIF-1alpha protein levels, suggesting a role for HIF-1 in the induction of VEGF expression. Pretreatment with the ROS inhibitors catalase and mannitol attenuated arsenite-induced ROS production, but did not affect induction of VEGF mRNA and HIF-1alpha protein. In contrast, pretreatment with the thiol antioxidants glutathione or N-acetylcysteine completely abrogated both effects, whereas a potentiation was observed by depletion of intracellular glutathione. These results demonstrate that arsenite-induced VEGF mRNA and HIF-1alpha protein expression is independent of increased ROS production but critically regulated by the cellular reduced glutathione content. In addition, these data suggest the involvement of a thiol-sensitive mechanism in the regulation of VEGF mRNA expression and HIF-1alpha protein in human ovarian cancer cells.
Article: Hydrogen peroxide mediates arsenite activation of p70(s6k) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To define the mechanism of arsenite-induced tumor promotion, we examined the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the signaling pathways of cells exposed to arsenite. Arsenite treatment resulted in the persistent activation of p70(s6k) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) which was accompanied by an increase in intracellular ROS production. The predominant produced appeared to be H(2)O(2), because the arsenite-induced increase in dichlorofluorescein (DCF) fluorescence was completely abolished by pretreatment with catalase but not with heat-inactivated catalase. Elimination of H(2)O(2) by catalase or N-acetyl-L-cysteine inhibited the arsenite-induced activation of p70(s6k) and ERK1/2, indicating the possible role of H(2)O(2) in the arsenite activation of the p70(s6k) and the ERK1/2 signaling pathways. A specific inhibitor of p70(s6k), rapamycin, and calcium chelators significantly blocked the activation of p70(s6k) induced by arsenite. While the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 completely abrogated arsenite activation of p70(s6k), ERK1/2 activation by arsenite was not affected by these inhibitors, indicating that H(2)O(2) might act as an upstream molecule of PI3K as well as ERK1/2. Consistent with these results, none of the inhibitors impaired H(2)O(2) production by arsenite. DNA binding activity of AP-1, downstream of ERK1/2, was also inhibited by catalase, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, and the MEK inhibitor PD98059, which significantly blocked arsenite activation of ERK1/2. Taken together, these studies provide insight into mechanisms of arsenite-induced tumor promotion and suggest that H(2)O(2) plays a critical role in tumor promotion by arsenite through activation of the ERK1/2 and p70(s6k) signaling pathways.Experimental Cell Research 11/2003; 290(1):144-54. · 3.58 Impact Factor