Epigenetic Effects of Cadmium in Cellular Signal Transduction

  • D. Beyersmann
  • S. Hechtenberg
  • C. Block
Conference paper


The carcinogen cadmium causes direct genotoxic effects as well as epigenetic changes. Cadmium (II) evokes DNA strand breaks in mammalian cells (Snyder, 198 8) and, if combined with thiol compounds, in isolated DNA, too (Müller et al., 1991; Oetken and Beyersmann, 1991) . Cd2+ is a weak mutagen only but it enhances the mutagenicity of UV irradiation in mammalian cells by interfering with the repair of damaged DNA (Hartwig and Beyersmann, 1989). An important epigenetic mechanism in carcinogenesis is the interference with the control of cell proliferation. Here, we discuss evidence for the interaction of cadmium (II) with the inositol trisphosphate/calcium signalling pathway which controls growth and which also is susceptible to tumor promoters.


Phorbol Ester Inositol Trisphosphate Cellular Signal Transduction Inositol Polyphosphate Weak Mutagen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Beyersmann
    • 1
  • S. Hechtenberg
    • 1
  • C. Block
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and ChemistryUniversity of BremenBremen 33Germany

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