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Arch Toxicol. 2010 Aug;84(8):585-96. doi: 10.1007/s00204-010-0554-4. Epub 2010 May 26.

Influence of arsenate and arsenite on signal transduction pathways: an update.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, 1703 E. Mabel Street, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


Arsenic has been a recognized contaminant and toxicant, as well as a medicinal compound throughout human history. Populations throughout the world are exposed to arsenic and these exposures have been associated with a number of human cancers. Not much is known about the role of arsenic as a human carcinogen and more recently its role in non-cancerous diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus have been uncovered. The health effects associated with arsenic are numerous and the association between arsenic exposure and human disease has intensified the search for molecular mechanisms that describe the biological activity of arsenic in humans and leads to the aforementioned disease states. Arsenic poses a human health risk due in part to the regulation of cellular signal transduction pathways and over the last few decades, some cellular mechanisms that account for arsenic toxicity, as well as, signal transduction pathways have been discovered. However, given the ubiquitous nature of arsenic in the environment, making sense of all the data remains a challenge. This review will focus on our knowledge of signal transduction pathways that are regulated by arsenic.

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