Bisphenol-A and nonylphenol induce apoptosis in reproductive tract cancer cell lines by the activation of ADAM17

Paulina Urriola-Muñoz, Raúl Lagos-Cabré, Daniel Patiño-García, Juan G. Reyes, Ricardo D. Moreno

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13 Scopus citations


Endocrine-disruptor chemicals (EDCs), such as bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol (NP), have been widely studied due to their negative effects on human and wildlife reproduction. Exposure to BPA or NP is related to cell death, hormonal deregulation, and cancer onset. Our previous studies showed that both compounds induce A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17) activation. Here, we show that BPA and NP induce apoptosis in prostate and ovary cancer cell lines, in a process dependent on ADAM17 activation. ADAM17 knockdown completely prevented apoptosis as well as the shedding of ADAM17 substrates. Both compounds were found to induce an increase in intracellular calcium (Ca2+) only in Ca2+-containing medium, with the NP-treated cells response being more robust than those treated with BPA. Additionally, using a phosphorylated protein microarray, we found that both compounds stimulate common intracellular pathways related to cell growth, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis. These results suggest that BPA and NP could induce apoptosis through ADAM17 by activating different intracellular signaling pathways that may converge in different cellular responses, one of which is apoptosis. These results confirm the capacity of these compounds to induce cell apoptosis in cancer cell lines and uncover ADAM17 as a key regulator of this process in response to EDCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2238
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • ADAM17
  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer cell lines
  • Endocrine-disruptor chemicals


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