Tributylphosphate (TBP) and tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in HepG2 cells
The purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic effects of tributylphosphate (TBP) and tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) and to explore the underlying molecular mechanism focusing on oxidative stress, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest. The results showed that TBP and TBEP could inhibit cell proliferation, induce cellular reactive oxidative stress, and suppress the mitochondrial membrane potential in HepG2 cells. TBP and TBEP could induce both mitochondrial and p53 mediated apoptosis through different mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal pathways. TBP activated the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK1/2) pathways, while TBEP activated the JNK pathway. Furthermore, TBP and TBEP caused a concentration-dependent decrease of cyclin D1 expression and an increase of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor proteins such as p21 and p27, resulting in significant cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase. Taken together, the toxicity of TBP and TBEP on the HepG2 cells was associated with apoptosis and cell cycle arrest induced by oxidative stress.