Effect of chrysotile exposure in human bronchial epithelial cells: Insights on the pathogenic mechanisms of asbestos-related diseases

Chrysotile asbestos accounts for more than 90% of the asbestos used worldwide and exposure is associated with asbestosis (asbestos-related fibrosis) and other malignancies, but the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. A common pathogenic mechanism for these malignancies is represented by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), through which epithelial cells undergo a morphological transformation to take on a mesenchymal phenotype. In the present work we propose that chrysotile asbestos induces EMT through a mechanism involving a Tranforming Growth Factor beta (TGFβ)-mediated signaling pathway.

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