Author(s): Kachinskas DJ, Qin Q, Phillips MA, Rice RH
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Abstract The human keratinocyte line SCC-9 has been used as a model for arsenate-induced perturbations of differentiation. Growth of these cells in 10 microM arsenate permitted the cultures to reach confluence, but prevented expression of 6 markers of suprabasal differentiation (involucrin, loricrin, filaggrin, spr 1, keratin 1 and keratin 10) as assayed by Northern blotting. By contrast, only slight alterations in mRNA levels were observed for one differentiation marker (keratinocyte transglutaminase) and for keratin 5, keratin 14, AP2 or glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase. The transition metal oxyanions vanadate and chromate had essentially the same suppressive effect on these markers as arsenate, while chronic treatment with tetradecanoylphorbol acetate was generally less effective in suppressing differentiation. To determine whether the previously observed arsenate-mediated alteration in AP1 and AP2 activities could account for the suppression of involucrin, a promoter analysis was conducted. Putative AP1 and AP2 response elements were identified in regions important for transcriptional activity of the 5'-flanking DNA. Mutations in two AP1 sites and one AP2 site were observed to decrease promoter activity significantly, and in combination, to reduce it to approximately 10\% of that conferred by the native sequence. These results lend support to the working hypothesis that arsenate suppresses involucrin expression, and, more generally, keratinocyte programming, by altering the transcription factors AP1 and AP2.
This article was published in Mutat Res
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics