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Int J Toxicol. 2012 Jul-Aug;31(4):397-406. doi: 10.1177/1091581812446869. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Proteomic analysis of the copper ion-induced stress response in a human embryonic carcinoma cell line.

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Division of Molecular and Life Science, Hanyang University, Ansan, Gyeonggido, Republic of Korea.


Excessive exposure to copper, a redox-active metal, generates free radicals, which can cause cellular damage. In this study, we aim to identify the proteins that are up- or downregulated by copper exposure in human embryonic carcinoma (NCCIT) cells and to understand the mechanisms that play a role in the copper-induced stress response. After exposure to copper ions, the cells showed upregulated levels of 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein, fibrillin 1, CWC22 spliceosome-associated protein (KIAA1604), heat shock protein (HSP) 60, and HSP70, while the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6, vimentin, 14-3-3 protein zeta, and RAC-beta (AKT2) serine/threonine protein kinase were downregulated. The GeneGo Process Networks of the proteins upregulated by copper ions were analyzed, and the 3 highest-scoring networks from the proteins upregulated by copper ions are presented here. In particular, the increased level of HSP70 in response to copper ions occurred in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that HSP70 could be a potential biomarker for copper toxicity in mammalian cells.

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