Arsenic and chromium in drinking water promote tumorigenesis in a mouse colitis-associated colorectal cancer model and the potential mechanism is ROS-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway

Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.63). 04/2012; 262(1):11-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2012.04.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Exposure to carcinogenic metals, such as trivalent arsenic [As(III)] and hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], through drinking water is a major global public health problem and is associated with various cancers. However, the mechanism of their carcinogenicity remains unclear. In this study, we used azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS)-induced mouse colitis-associated colorectal cancer model to investigate their tumorigenesis. Our results demonstrate that exposure to As(III) or Cr(VI), alone or in combination, together with AOM/DSS pretreatment has a promotion effect, increasing the colorectal tumor incidence, multiplicity, size, and grade, as well as cell inflammatory response. Two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry revealed that As(III) or Cr(VI) treatment alone significantly changed the density of proteins. The expression of β-catenin and phospho-GSK was increased by treatment of carcinogenic metals alone. Concomitantly, the expression of NADPH oxidase1 (NOX1) and the level of 8-OHdG were also increased by treatment of carcinogenic metals alone. Antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, were decreased. Similarly, in an in vitro system, exposure of CRL-1807 to carcinogenic metals increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, the expression of β-catenin, phospho-GSK, and NOX1. Inhibition of ROS generation by addition of SOD or catalase inhibited β-catenin expression and activity. Our study provides a new animal model to study the carcinogenicity of As(III) and Cr(VI) and suggests that As(III) and Cr(VI) promote colorectal cancer tumorigenesis, at least partly, through ROS-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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