Carcinogenic metals and NF-κB activation

F. Chen, M. Ding, V. Castranova, X. Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Epidemiological and animal studies suggest that several metals and metal-containing compounds are potent mutagens and carcinogens. These metals include chromium, arsenic, vanadium, and nickel. During the last two decades, chemical and cellular studies have contributed enormously to our understanding of the mechanisms of metal-induced pathophysiological processes. Although each of these metals is unique in its mechanism of action, some common signaling molecules, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), may be shared by many of these carcinogenic metals. New techniques are now available to reveal the mechanisms of carcinogenesis in precise molecular terms. In this review, we focused our attentions on metal-induced signal transduction pathways leading to the activation of NF-κB, a transcription factor governing the expression of most early response genes involved in a number of human diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fei Chen was supported by a Career Development Award in Genetics under a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. The authors thank Dr. Murali Rao for critical reading of the manuscript.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • IKK
  • Metals
  • NF-κB
  • ROS
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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