Deepti Goel

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Susan R. Stapleton

Second Advisor

Dr. David L. Huffman

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Barcelona

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A study was done to establish if reactive oxygen species (ROS) participate in the signal transduction pathway through which cadmium induces gene transcription. Cadmium has become a concern in the health care community in the past few years as evidence suggests that cadmium can induce the development of tumors, influence cell signaling and cause damage to organs, tissue, cells and DNA. The mechanism by which cadmium exerts its action on cellular processes or induces toxicity is however unclear although there is evidence to suggest that ROS play a role. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms of differentially regulated gene expression in response to the oxidative state of a cell.

Our results show that cadmium activated transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B and heat shock factor transcription factor in a time and concentration dependent manner. Cadmium also activated cadmium response factor binding to the cadmium response element in the heme oxygenase-1 gene. Furthermore, this induction was blocked by antioxidants suggesting involvement of reactive oxygen species. Our results implicate that signal protein p38 mitogen activated protein kinase protein is not only involved in Cd mediated induction of these transcription factor but also in a stress response protein heat shock protein-70.

Included in

Chemistry Commons