Chemico-biological interactions

Arsenic-induced S phase cell cycle lengthening is associated with ROS generation, p53 signaling and CDC25A expression.

PMID 26148435


Cellular response to arsenic is strongly dependent on p53 functional status. Primarily arresting the cell cycle in G1 or G2/M phases, arsenic treatment also induces an increase in the S-phase time in wild-type p53 cells. In contrast, cells with a non-functional p53 display only a subtle increase in the S phase, indicating arsenic differentially affects the cell cycle depending on p53 status. Importantly, it has been reported that arsenic induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), a process counteracted by p53. To evaluate the participation of p53 in the lengthening of the S phase and the connection between the transient cell cycle arrest and oxidative stress, we evaluated the cell response to arsenic in MCF-7 and H1299 cells, and analyzed p53's role as a transcription factor in regulating genes involved in ROS reduction and S phase transition. Herein, we discovered that arsenic induced an increase in the population of S phase cells that was dependent on the presence and transcriptional activity of p53. Furthermore, for the first time, we demonstrate that arsenic activates p53-dependent transcription of ROS detoxification genes, such as SESN1, and by an indirect mechanism involving ATF3, genes that could be responsible for the S phase cell cycle arrest, such as CDC25A.