Involvement of p38 MAPK pathway in benzo(a)pyrene-induced human hepatoma cell migration and invasion

  • Yadong WangEmail author
  • Li Shi
  • Jiangmin Li
  • Li Li
  • Haiyu Wang
  • Haiyan YangEmail author
Research Article


The objective of this study was to investigate the potential role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)-induced hepatoma cell migration and invasion. Western blot assay was applied to detect the expression of proteins. qRT-PCR assay was used to measure the expression of mRNA. Wound healing assay and Transwell invasion assay were performed to evaluate cell migratory ability and cell invasive ability, respectively. Our data showed that BaP exposure increased the expression of p-p38 protein in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Exposure to BaP facilitated HepG2 cell migration and invasion, which could be blocked by p38 MAPK inhibitors. In addition, BaP exposure induced upregulation of MMP9 mRNA expression, which was modulated by p-p38. In conclusion, p38 MAPK pathway was involved in BaP-induced hepatoma cell migration and invasion.


Benzo(a)pyrene Migration Invasion p38 MAPK MMP9 HepG2 cells 


Availability of data and materials

The datasets generated/analyzed during the present study are included in the published article.

Funding information

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1404815) and Henan Province University Science and Technology Innovation Talent Projects (17HASTIT045). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ToxicologyHenan Center for Disease Control and PreventionZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologySchool of Public Health, Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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