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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

Impact factor: 1.246

ISSN Print: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.v31.i3.60
pages 245-263

Cancer Stem Cells in the Mechanism of Metal Carcinogenesis

Lei Wang
Graduate Center for Toxicology College of Medicine, University of Kentucky
Fei Chen
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Zhuo Zhang
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536
Gang Chen
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Jia Luo
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Xianglin Shi
Center for Research on Environmental Diseases, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536

ABSTRACT

Environmental metal carcinogenesis is a major public health concern. The mechanism underlying metal-induced carcinogenesis remains unclear. The concept of cancer stem cell recently has drawn considerable attention. Various studies indicate that the generation of cancer stem cells might contribute to the overall mechanism of development of metal-induced cancer. It is believed that oxidative stress and abnormal signaling caused by metals lead to the enrichment of cancer stem cells and eventually initiate cancer. In addition, metal-induced angiogenesis may also contribute to the generation of cancer stem cells. Studies using animal models further suggest that metals could induce the production of cancer stem cells and thus cause the development of cancer. This review summarizes recent studies of oxidative stress and cancer stem cells in relation to the mechanism of metal carcinogenesis.