Copper is a persistent environmental contaminant, and exposure to elevated levels of this transition metal can result in a variety of pathologies. Copper affects the transcription of multiple defense and repair genes to protect against metal-induced pathologies. HepG2 cells were treated with copper under multiple conditions and microarray analyses were previously performed to better understand the mechanisms by which copper affects the transcription of stress-responsive genes. Analysis of the microarray data indicated that copper modulates multiple signal transduction pathways, including those mediated by NF-κB. Luciferase assays, quantitative reverse transcription real-time PCR, and chemical inhibition in HepG2 cells validated the microarray results and confirmed that NF-κB was activated by stress-inducible concentrations of copper. In addition, two novel NF-κB-regulated genes, SRXN1 (sulfiredoxin 1 homolog) and ZFAND2A (zinc-finger, AN1-type domain 2A), were identified. Our results indicate that the activation of NF-κB may be important for survival under elevated concentrations of copper.
- HepG2 cells
- gene expression