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School of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical Sciences


Rapid development and deployment of engineered nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in various commercial and biomedical applications have raised concerns about their potential adverse health effects, especially their long-term effects which have not been well addressed. We demonstrated here that prolonged exposure of human mesothelial cells to single-walled CNT (SWCNT) induced neoplastic-like transformation as indicated by anchorage-independent cell growth and increased cell invasiveness. Such transformation was associated with an up-regulation of H-Ras and activation of ERK1/2. Downregulation of H-Ras by siRNA or inactivation of ERK by chemical inhibitor effectively inhibited the aggressive phenotype of SWCNT-exposed cells. Integrin alpha V and cortactin, but not epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) transcriptional regulators, were up-regulated in the SWCNT-exposed cells, suggesting their role in the aggressive phenotype. Cortactin expression was shown to be controlled by the H-Ras/ERK signaling. Thus, our results indicate a novel role of H-Ras/ERK signaling and cortactin in the aggressive transformation of human mesothelial cells by SWCNT.

Source Citation

Lohcharoenkal, W., Wang, L., Stueckle, T. A., Park, J., Tse, W., Dinu, C.-Z., & Rojanasakul, Y. (2014). Role of H-Ras/ERK signaling in carbon nanotube-induced neoplastic-like transformation of human mesothelial cells. Frontiers in Physiology, 5.


© 2014 Lohcharoenkal, Wang, Stueckle, Park, Tse, Dinu and Rojanasakul. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.



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