Chromium-induced genotoxicity and apoptosis: relationship to chromium carcinogenesis (review).
- J Singh
- D L Carlisle
- D E Pritchard
- S R Patierno
Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20037, USA.
- Published online on: November 1, 1998 https://doi.org/10.3892/or.5.6.1307
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The adverse health effects linked with chromium (Cr) exposure, the role of solubility and chemical speciation of Cr compounds, and the diverse cellular and molecular effects of Cr make the study of Cr carcinogenesis and toxicology very interesting and complex. Certain Cr compounds are prominent metal carcinogens in both occupational and environmental settings. Inhaled particulate forms of hexavalent Cr [Cr(VI)] cause lung cancer as well as lung toxicity. Some of the important factors in determining the biological outcome of Cr exposure include the bioavailability, chemical speciation and solubility of Cr compounds, intracellular reduction, and interaction of Cr with DNA. The stable oxidation states of Cr found in nature are Cr(III) and Cr(VI). Cr(III) is unable to enter cells but Cr(VI) enters into cells through membrane anionic transporters. Intracellular Cr(VI) is metabolically reduced to the ultimate Cr(III). Cr(VI) does not react with macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids. However, both Cr(III) and the reductional intermediate Cr(V) are capable of co-ordinate covalent interactions with macromolecules. At the genomic level, Cr genotoxicity manifests as gene mutations, several types of DNA lesions and inhibition of macromolecular synthesis. At the cellular level, Cr exposure may lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, premature terminal growth arrest, or neoplastic transformation. Cr-induced DNA-DNA interstrand crosslinks (DDC), the tumor suppressor gene p53 and oxidative processes are some of the major factors that may play a significant role in determining the cellular outcome in response to Cr exposure. We have utilized cellular, molecular, pharmacological, and genetic approaches to understand the interrelationship between Cr-induced genotoxicity, apoptosis and carcinogenesis. This review is based on the results and inferences of this research. We hope this review will clarify existing concepts and also introduce novel perspectives in chromium carcinogenesis research.