Chromium, in its various forms, is recognized both as a human carcinogen and as a nutrient essential in glucose homeostasis. Although the genotoxicity of this element is associated with its carcinogenic properties, the manner in which chromium mediates its epigenetic effects on cells, including its ability to potentiate insulin action, is not known. In the current studies, Western blotting with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies was used to study the effects of chromium on protein tyrosine phosphorylation in intact H4 rat hepatoma cells. Treatment of cells with hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] was found to induce the tyrosine phosphorylation of three prominent sets of proteins, having median molecular masses of 210, 125, and 87 kDa. Cr(VI) pretreatment also inhibited the insulin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the major substrate of the insulin receptor kinase, insulin receptor substrate-1, and its subsequent association with the 85-kDa regulatory subunit (p85) of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase. Furthermore, Cr(VI) was found to alter the pattern of other p85-binding (insulin-induced) phosphoproteins that were distributed throughout the soluble and particulate fractions of cells. Virtually all of the alterations in basal and insulin- induced phosphorylations associated with Cr(VI) treatment were also observed in cells treated with the protein kinase C (PKC) agonist phorbol-12- myristate-13-acetate. However, the effects of Cr(VI) were determined to be independent of PKC activity, because they were sustained in PKC-depleted cells. The pattern of phosphoproteins induced by Cr(VI) also had similarities to the pattern generated in response to the phosphatase inhibitor sodium orthovanadate. However, several specific differences, including the ability of vanadate to increase insulin receptor β subunit autophosphorylation [i.e., an effect not observed with Cr(VI)], indicated that these agents modulate phosphorylation by distinct mechanisms. The ability of Cr(VI) to alter the phosphorylation state of key regulatory proteins in a manner similar to that of other biologically active agents suggests a mechanism by which this element can modulate the growth and metabolism of cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 1995|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine