In this review we present recent studies on the effects of the protein phosphatase inhibitor microcystin on mammalian cells. Whereas high concentrations of microcystin promote liver cell death induced by ROS signalling without the involvement of typical apoptotic proteins, intermediate doses activate classic apoptotic pathways. Low concentrations however, increase liver cell survival and proliferation, and can cause primary liver cancer.
Keywords: Microcystin, protein phosphatases, PP1, PP2A, reactive oxygen species, cancer, apoptosis, mitochondria
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