Whole genome analysis and microRNAs regulation in HepG2 cells exposed to cadmium

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Marco Fabbri
Chiara Urani
Maria Grazia Sacco
Claudio Procaccianti
Laura Gribaldo


Cadmium (Cd) is a metal known to be toxic and carcinogenic, but its mechanism of action remains to be fully elucidated.
We investigated the gene expression modulation in the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 after exposure to 2 μM and 10 μM Cd using an Agilent microarray. Furthermore, we evaluated the microRNA modulation after exposure to 10 μM Cd with a Low Density Array.
At the low concentration only eleven genes belonging to the metallothionein familiy were regulated. At the higher concentration the pathway enrichment analysis for the 536 up-regulated genes showed a large number of pathways related to cancer, whereas the 424 down-regulated genes were enriched on pathways correlated to liver function. A large percentage of modified microRNAs belonged to the let-7 family, which is considered to have oncosuppressor functions.
Several pathways connected to cancer were regulated at the transcription level, and miRNAs had a potential impact on the modulation of this regulation.

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How to Cite
Fabbri, M., Urani, C., Sacco, M. G., Procaccianti, C. and Gribaldo, L. (2012) “Whole genome analysis and microRNAs regulation in HepG2 cells exposed to cadmium”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 29(2), pp. 173-182. doi: 10.14573/altex.2012.2.173.

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