Pierozan P, Karlsson O
Arch. Toxicol. 92 (2) 705-716 [2018-02-00; online 2017-10-23]
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a synthetic fluorosurfactant widely used in the industry and a prominent environmental toxicant. PFOS is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to mammalian species. Growing evidence suggests that PFOS has the potential to interfere with estrogen homeostasis, posing a risk of endocrine-disrupting effects. Recently, concerns about a potential link between PFOS and breast cancer have been raised, but the mechanisms underlying its actions as a potential carcinogen are unknown. By utilizing cell proliferation assays, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and cell migration/invasion assays, we examined the potentially tumorigenic activity of PFOS (100 nM-1 mM) in MCF-10A breast cell line. The results showed that the growth of MCF-10A cells exposed to 1 and 10 µM PFOS was higher compared to that of the control. Mechanistic studies using 10 µM PFOS demonstrated that the compound promotes MCF-10A proliferation through accelerating G0/G1-to-S phase transition of the cell cycle after 24, 48, and 72 h of treatment. In addition, PFOS exposure increased CDK4 and decreased p27, p21, and p53 levels in the cells. Importantly, treatment with 10 µM PFOS for 72 h also stimulated MCF-10A cell migration and invasion, illustrating its capability to induce neoplastic transformation of human breast epithelial cells. Our experimental results suggest that exposure to low levels of PFOS might be a potential risk factor in human breast cancer initiation and development.