Phosphoproteomic profiling of arsenite-treated human small airway epithelial cells

Oncol Rep. 2010 Feb;23(2):405-12.


Arsenic is well documented as a chemotherapeutic agent capable of inducing cell death; however, it is also considered as a human carcinogen. Although it has recently been shown that arsenite exposure can potentiate genotoxicity, little is known about its global effects exerted in cells at the proteome level. Immortalized human small airway epithelial cells exposed to arsenite were used to identify phosphoproteins of two major signaling cascades, such as the human phospho-receptor tyrosine kinase (Phospho-RTK) and the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). These two arrays included several phosphoproteins, such as EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB4, InsulinR, Flt-3, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), intracellular kinases such as AKT, GSK-3, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK1-3) and different p38 isoforms (alpha/beta/delta/gamma). In arsenite-treated cells, phosphorylation of EGFR, InsulinR and Flt3R showed an increase when compared to their non-arsenite treated counterparts. Inhibitors of these proteins further confirmed the involvement of such proteins in the neoplasm transformation of arsenite-treated human small airway epithelial cells as seen in changes in plating efficiency, anchorage-independent growth and proliferation rate. It can be concluded that analysis of phosphoprotein by using phosphoproteomic profiling can be very useful to understand the mechanism of arsenite-induced carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Arsenites / pharmacology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolome
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / drug effects*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Respiratory Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / metabolism
  • Teratogens / pharmacology


  • Arsenites
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteome
  • Teratogens
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • arsenite