UA SRP investigator, Dr. Donna Zhang, recently attended the 15th International Congress of Toxicology (ICTXV) in Hawaii (July 15-18, 2019). The ICTXV was a forum for scientists in academia, government, and industry from around the world to learn about the latest developments in toxicological science and regulation.
Dr. Zhang participated in the Recent Trends in Research on Arsenic Toxicology session where she presented a talk entitled “Arsenic in Oxidative Stress vs. Proteotoxic Stress”.
She introduced recent findings by her laboratory demonstrating that environmentally relevant arsenite exposure does not exhibit an increase in oxidative stress, but inhibits the autophagy pathway, and results in prolonged activation of the NRF2 stress response. Specifically, arsenic disrupts formation of the STX17-SNAP29-VAMP8 SNARE complex, where SNAP29 mediates vesicle fusion through bridging STX17-containing autophagosomes to VAMP8-bearing Lysosomes. Her study challenges the existing paradigm that oxidative stress is the main underlying cause of pathologies associated with environmental arsenic exposure.