Selective Interaction of Arsenic with Zinc Finger Proteins: Implications and Health Effects

Pathology Cancer Center Grand Rounds

Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM

This grand round has already taken place.

Online Streaming
September 16th, 2021
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit Hours


Environmental or occupational exposure to arsenic may result in the development of cancer and other diseases. Recent research has established that environmentally relevant concentrations of arsenic can disrupt the function of certain zinc finger proteins, which represents an important underlying molecular mechanism for arsenic-induced health effects. In this presentation, we will demonstrate that trivalent arsenite selectively interacts with zinc finger motif of proteins with ≥ 3 cysteine residues, using as examples three specific zinc finger proteins that play critical role in human health and therapeutic intervention: a) Arsenite interacts with key DNA repair proteins XPA and PARP-1, resulting in modification of protein structure and function, leading to accumulation of UV-induced DNA damage and enhanced mutation, thus highlighting how arsenic acts as a potent carcinogen and co-carcinogen to other environmental factors; b) Arsenic selectively inhibits erythropoiesis through the disruption of zinc finger motifs of the transcription factor GATA-1, resulting in anemia and an imbalance of hematopoietic differentiation; and c) Arsenic inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion by interacting with cytoplasmic linker protein 170, a zinc finger protein controlling microtubule dynamics, demonstrating microtubules as a promising anti-metastasis strategy by arsenic against tumor spread and recurrence. Together, these findings highlight the molecular understanding of how low, non-cytotoxic concentrations of arsenic can selectively interact with certain zinc finger proteins, impacting human health.

Dates and Times

Start: 9/16/2021 12:00 PM
End: 9/16/2021 1:00 PM


  1. Evaluate the various adverse health effects of exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of arsenic.
  2. Describe the interaction of arsenic with zinc finger proteins as a key molecular mechanism for arsenic-induced adverse health effects.
  3. Analyze the molecular properties of arsenic and critical steps that drive arsenic interaction with selective zinc finger proteins.


  • Dr. Ke Liu
    • Selective Interaction of Arsenic with Zinc Finger Proteins: Implications and Health Effects


The School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) . Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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