The present study shows that arsenic induces GADD45alpha (growth arrest and DNA damage inducible gene 45alpha) mainly through post-transcriptional mechanism. Treatment of the human bronchial epithelial cell line, BEAS-2B, with arsenic(III) chloride (As3+) resulted in a significant increase in GADD45alpha protein and mRNA. However, As3+ only exhibited a marginal effect on the transcription of the GADD45alpha gene. The accumulation of GADD45alpha mRNA is largely achieved by the stabilization of GADD45alpha mRNA in the cellular response to As3+. As3+ is able to induce binding of mRNA stabilizing proteins, nucleolin and less potently, HuR, to the GADD45alpha mRNA. Although As3+ was unable to affect the expression of nucleolin, treatment of the cells with As3+ resulted in re-distribution of nucleolin from nucleoli to nucleoplasm. Silencing of the nucleolin mRNA by RNA interference reversed As3+-induced stabilization of the GADD45alpha mRNA and accumulation of the GADD45alpha protein. Stabilization of GADD45alpha mRNA, thus, represents a novel mechanism contributing to the production of GADD45alpha and cell cycle arrest in response to As3+.