Arsenic and Human Health: Genotoxicity, Epigenomic Effects, and Cancer Signaling

ÖZTÜRK M. , Metin M., ALTAY V., Bhat R. A. , Ejaz M., Gul A., ...More

BIOLOGICAL TRACE ELEMENT RESEARCH, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12011-021-02719-w


Arsenic is a well-known element because of its toxicity. Humans as well as plants and animals are negatively affected by its exposure. Some countries suffer from high levels of arsenic in their tap water and soils, which is considered a primary arsenic-linked risk factor for living beings. Humans generally get exposed to arsenic by contaminated drinking waters, resulting in many health problems, ranging from cancer to skin diseases. On the other hand, the FDA-certified drug arsenic trioxide provides solutions for various diseases, including several types of cancers. This issue emphasizes the importance of speciation of the metalloid elements in terms of impacts on health. When species get exposed to arsenic, it affects the cells altering their involvement. It can lead to abnormalities in inflammatory mechanisms and the immune system which contribute to the negative impacts generated on the body. The poisoning originating from arsenic gives rise to various biological signs on the body which can be useful for the diagnosis. It is important to find true biomarkers for the detection of arsenic poisoning. In view of its application in medicine and biology, studies on understanding the biological activity of arsenic have increased. In this review, we aim at summarizing the current state of knowledge of arsenic and the mechanism behind its toxicity including genotoxicity, oxidative insults, epigenomic changes, and alterations in cellular signaling.