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Publication Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Geisel School of Medicine


Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) is a transcription factor regulating expression of genes intrinsic to inflammation and cell proliferation--features of asbestos-associated diseases. In studies here, crocidolite asbestos caused protracted and dose-responsive increases in proteins binding to nuclear NF-kappa B-binding DNA elements in hamster tracheal epithelial (HTE) cells. This binding was modulated by cellular glutathione levels. Antibodies recognizing p65 and p50 protein members of the NF-kappa B family revealed these proteins in two of the DNA complexes. Transient transfection assays with a construct containing six NF-kappa B-binding DNA consensus sites linked to a luciferase reporter gene indicated that asbestos induced transcriptional activation of NF-kappa B-dependent genes, an observation that was confirmed by northern blot analyses for c-myc mRNA levels in HTE cells. Studies suggest that NF-kappa B induction by asbestos is a key event in regulation of multiple genes involved in the pathogenesis of asbestos-related lung cancers.

Original Citation

Janssen YM, Barchowsky A, Treadwell M, Driscoll KE, Mossman BT. Asbestos induces nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) DNA-binding activity and NF-kappa B-dependent gene expression in tracheal epithelial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995;92(18):8458-8462. doi:10.1073/pnas.92.18.8458