Benzo(a)pyrene but not 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin alters cell adhesion proteins in human uterine RL95-2 cells

Michelle A. McGarry, Grantley D. Charles, Theresa Medrano, Michael R. Bubb, Maria B. Grant, Martha Campbell-Thompson, Kathleen T. Shiverick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


This study compared the effects of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) two aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists on cell attachment and adherens junction proteins in RL95-2 human uterine endometrial cells. Exposure to 10 μM BaP significantly decreased cell attachment to Matrigel whereas 10 nM TCDD had no effect. Immunocytochemistry and Western immunoblot analysis showed that BaP but not TCDD produced a marked loss of plasma membrane epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) localized along intercellular boundaries. BaP-treated cells exhibited significant decreases in β-catenin and cadherin protein levels while vinculin levels remained unchanged relative to control. In contrast TCDD treatment had no effect on the levels of β-catenin cadherin or vinculin. Further studies using the fluorescein labeled peptide phalloidin showed the presence of continuous subcortical actin filaments in control cells whereas BaP-treated cells had subcortical actin aggregates. Thus in contrast to TCDD BaP produces a loss of cell attachment involving decreased localization of molecules important for cell-cell interactions in RL95-2 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Adhesion
  • Attachment
  • BaP
  • Cadherin
  • Cytoskeleton
  • EGF-R
  • Human uterine endometrium
  • TCDD
  • β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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