As(III) transcriptionally activates the gadd45a gene via the formation of H2O2

Jacquelyn J. Bower, Stephen S. Leonard, Fei Chen, Xianglin Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Arsenic is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant associated with increased risks of human cancers of the skin, lung, bladder, and prostate. Intriguingly, it is also used to treat certain types of leukemia. It has recently been suggested that these paradoxic effects may be mediated by arsenic's ability to simultaneously activate DNA damage and apoptotic and transformation pathways. Here, we investigate the effects of arsenic exposure on the induction of the growth arrest and DNA damage protein 45α (GADD45α), which is thought to play roles in apoptosis, DNA damage response, and cell cycle arrest. We found that arsenic transcriptionally activates the gadd45α promoter located in a 153-bp region between -234 and -81, relative to the transcriptional start site. In addition, this transcriptional induction was abrogated in the presence of H2O2 scavengers, suggesting a role for H2O2 in the transcriptional control of the gadd45a gene through a Fenton-like free radical mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2006


  • Arsenic
  • Arsenite
  • As(III)
  • BEAS-2B
  • Cell cycle control
  • DNA damage
  • GADD45α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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