Academic Article


  • 2018

Exposure to particulate matter (PM) has been related to the onset of adverse health effects including lung cancer, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still under investigation. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is regarded as a crucial step in cancer progression. In a previous study, we reported EMT-related responses in the human bronchial epithelial cell line HBEC3-KT, exposed to Milan airborne winter PM2.5. We also found a strong modulation of SERPINB2, encoding for the PAI-2 protein and previously suggested to play an important role in cancer. Here we investigate the role of SERPINB2/PAI-2 in the regulation of EMT-related effects induced by PM exposure in HBEC3-KT. PM exposure (up to 10 µg/cm2) increased SERPINB2 expression, reduced cell migration and induced morphological alterations in HBEC3-KT. Changes in actin structure and cadherin-1 relocalization were observed in PM-exposed samples. Knockdown of SERPINB2 by siRNA down-regulated the CDH1 gene expression, as well as PAI-2 and cadherin-1 protein expression. SERPINB2 knockdown also increased cell migration rate, and counteracted the PM-induced reduction of cell migration and alteration of cell morphology. SERPINB2 was found to be greatly down-regulated in a HBEC2-KT transformed cell line, supporting the importance of this gene in the regulation of EMT. In conclusion, here we show...

Longhin, E.; Camatini, M.; Bersaas, Audun Trygge Haugen; Mantecca, P.; Mollerup, Steen Kristen
Archives of Toxicology 92(9): 2923–2933
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