Here we feature new and exciting papers on aluminium! Please read on for the latest developments, findings and research.
New study on aluminium in cancer
In the Spotlight
Dr Mirna Tenan
Breast Cancer Research,
Laboratoire de cancérogenèse environnementale, Fondation des Grangettes, Geneva
"Concentrations of aluminium in the range of those detected in human
tissues promote chromosome instability in mammalian cells".
What is the background of your research?
Aluminium, added to many products of regular use, is a suspected human carcinogen. Chromosome Instability (CIN), consisting of high rates of structural and numerical chromosome aberrations, is a well-known hallmark of cancer and is associated with poor prognosis and multidrug resistance.
What did you do?
We exposed Chinese hamster V79 cells, frequently used for the assessment of chemical carcinogens in regulatory toxicology, to aluminium concentrations in the range of those measured in human tissues and investigated its cellular uptake and impact on the numerical and structural integrity of chromosomes.
And what did you find?
We found that the cells incorporate aluminium in a dose-dependent manner and predominantly concentrate it in the perinuclear space of the cytoplasm. Intracellular aluminium accumulation leads to a significant and dose-dependent increase in chromosomes carrying DNA double strand breaks (DSB) and numerical abnormalities. When entering mitosis, V79 cells exposed to aluminium assemble abnormal multipolar mitotic spindles and appear to cluster extra centrosomes (the organelles forming the spindle poles), possibly as an attempt to divide in a pseudo-bipolar manner. The effects observed upon aluminium exposure are well-recognized sources of chromosome DSB and segregation errors.
What new conclusions could you draw from this study?
Hence, our findings show that the range of aluminium concentrations detected in human tissues promotes chromosome instability (CIN) in mammalian cells, thus supporting the hypothesis that aluminium is a human carcinogen.
Original Research Article:
Tenan MR, Nicolle A, Moralli D, Verbouwe E, Jankowska JD, Durin MA, Green CM, Mandriota SJ, Sappino AP (2021) Aluminum enters mammalian cells and destabilizes chromosome structure and number. Int J Mol Sci 22(17), 9515. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179515
Image: Aluminium incorporation by V79 cells. The image shows intracellular aluminium (orange) in two V79 cells incubated with 100 µM AlCl3 for 3 hours. The cell nuclei are evidenced by pink staining. Scale bar: 20 µM.