Cadmium-induced malignant transformation of rat liver cells: Potential key role and regulatory mechanism of altered apolipoprotein E expression in enhanced invasiveness.

PMID 28315714


Cadmium is a transition metal that is classified as human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) with multiple target sites. Many studies using various model systems provide evidence of cadmium-induced malignancy formation in vivo or malignant cell transformation in vitro. Nonetheless, further studies are needed to completely understand the mechanisms of cadmium carcinogenicity. Our prior studies have utilized a rat liver epithelial cell line (TRL 1215) as a model for cadmium-induced malignant transformation. In the present study, we focused on the molecular mechanisms of this malignant transformation, especially with regard to hyper-invasiveness stimulated by cadmium transformation. By performing a series of biochemical analyses on cadmium transformed cells, it was determined that cadmium had significantly down-regulated the expression of apolipoprotein E (ApoE). ApoE was recently established as a suppressor of cell invasion. A key factor in the suppression of ApoE by cadmium appeared to be that the metal evoked a 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine-sensitive hypermethylation of the regulatory region of ApoE, coupled with interference of the action of liver X receptor α (LXRα), a transcriptional regulator for ApoE. Furthermore, the expression of LXRα itself was suppressed by cadmium-mediated epigenetic modification. Re-expression of ApoE clearly abrogated the cell invasion stimulated by cadmium-induced malignant transformation. Together, the current results suggest that the cadmium-mediated enhanced cell invasion is linked to down-regulation of ApoE during malignant transformation these liver cells.

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5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine, ≥97%