Journal Article

Arsenite inhibits mitotic division and perturbs spindle dynamics in HeLa S3 cells.

S C Huang and T C Lee

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 5, pages 889-896
Published in print May 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.5.889
Arsenite inhibits mitotic division and perturbs spindle dynamics in HeLa S3 cells.

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Arsenical compounds, known to be human carcinogens, were shown to disturb cell cycle progression and induce cytogenetic alterations in a variety of cell systems. We report here that a 24 h treatment of arsenite induced mitotic accumulation in human cell lines. HeLa S3 and KB cells were most susceptible: 35% of the total cell population was arrested at the mitotic stage after treatment with 5 microM sodium arsenite in HeLa S3 cells and after 10 microM in KB cells. Under a microscope, we observed abnormal mitotic figures in arsenite-arrested mitotic cells, including deranged chromosome congression, elongated polar distance of mitotic spindle, and enhanced microtubule immunofluorescence. The spindle microtubules of arsenite-arrested mitotic cells were more resistant to nocodazole-induced dissolution than those of control mitotic cells. According to turbidity assay, arsenite at concentrations below 100 microM significantly enhanced polymerization of tubulins. Since spindle dynamics play a crucial role in mitotic progression, our results suggest that arsenite-induced mitotic arrest may be due to arsenite's effects on attenuation of spindle dynamics.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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