Effects of endosulfan on human MCF-7 breast cancer cells
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Organochlorine pesticides (OCs) are environmental toxicants with important links to human health. They have been found to activate signalling pathways within cells and thereby affect cell survival and proliferation. Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor kB (RANK) ligand and its receptor RANK are crucial for mammary epithelial proliferation in pregnancy and have recently been linked to hormone induced breast cancers. The objectives of this study were to confirm the proliferative effects of an OC (endosulfan) on human MCF-7 breast cancer cells, identify activated intracellular signaling pathways and investigate changes in RANK and RANKL gene expression. This study showed that endosulfan has a stimulatory effect on human MCF-7 cell proliferation, which may be invoked through activated intracellular signaling pathways (JNK, ERK1/2 and p38). In addition, there was a down regulation of RANK and upregulation of RANKL gene expression suggesting endosulfan is capable of modulating both cellular behavior and gene expression.