Frederick A. Beland's research while affiliated with U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other places

Publications (335)

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive human cancers. HCC is characterized by an acquisition of multiple abnormal phenotypes driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations, especially abnormal DNA methylation. Most of the existing clinical and experimental reports provide only a snapshot of abnormal DNA methylation patterns in HCC rather than their dynamic changes. This makes it difficult to elucidate the significance of these changes in the development of HCC. In the present study, we investigated hepatic gene expression and gene-specific DNA methylation alterations in mice using the Stelic Animal Model (STAM) of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-derived liver carcinogenesis. Analysis of the DNA methylation status in aberrantly expressed epigenetically regulated genes showed the accumulation of DNA methylation abnormalities during the development of HCC, with the greatest number of aberrantly methylated genes being found in full-fledged HCC. Among these genes, only one gene, tubulin, beta 2B class IIB (Tubb2b), was increasingly hypomethylated and over-expressed during the progression of the carcinogenic process. Furthermore, the TUBB2B gene was also over-expressed and hypomethylated in poorly differentiated human HepG2 cells as compared to well-differentiated HepaRG cells. The results of this study indicate that unique gene-expression alterations mediated by aberrant DNA methylation of selective genes may contribute to the development of HCC and may have diagnostic value as the disease-specific indicator.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming a major etiological risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States and other Western countries. In the present study, we investigated the role of gene-specific promoter cytosine DNA methylation and gene expression alterations in the development of NAFLD-associated HCC in mice using (i) a diet-induced animal model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (DIAMOND), (ii) a Stelic Animal Model (STAM) of NASH-derived HCC, and (iii) a choline- and folate-deficient (CFD) diet (CFD model). We found that the development of NAFLD and its progression to HCC was characterized by down-regulation of the glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) and this was mediated by progressive Gnmt promoter cytosine DNA hypermethylation. Using a panel of genetically-diverse inbred mice, we observed that GNMT down-regulation was an early event in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and correlated with the extent of the NAFLD-like liver injury. Reduced GNMT expression was also found in human HCC tissue and liver cancer cell lines. In in vitro experiments, we demonstrated that one of the consequences of GNMT inhibition was an increase in genome methylation facilitated by an elevated level of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Overall, our findings suggest that reduced Gnmt expression caused by promoter hypermethylation is one of the key molecular events in the development of NAFLD-derived HCC and that assessing Gnmt methylation level may be useful for disease stratification.
Arsenic species contaminate food and water, with typical dietary intake below 1 μg/kg bw/d. Exposure to arsenic in heavily contaminated drinking water is associated with human diseases, including cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Dietary intake assessments show that rice and seafood are the primary contributors to intake of both inorganic arsenic and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA V ) and at similar magnitudes. DMA V plays a central role in the toxicology of arsenic because enzymatic methylation of arsenite produces DMA V as the predominant metabolite, which may promote urinary clearance but also generates reactive intermediates, predominantly DMA III , that bind extensively to cellular thiols. Both inorganic arsenic and DMA V are carcinogenic in chronically exposed rodents. This study measured pentavalent and trivalent arsenic species in blood and tissues after oral and intravenous administration of DMA V (50 μg As/kg bw). DMA V underwent extensive first-pass metabolism in the intestine and liver, exclusively by reduction to DMA III , which bound extensively to blood and tissues. The results confirm a role for methylation-independent reductive metabolism in producing fluxes of DMA III that presumably underlie arsenic toxicity and indicate the need to include all dietary intake of inorganic arsenic and DMA V in risk assessments.
An Advisory Group of 29 scientists from 18 countries met in March, 2019, to recommend priorities for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs programme during 2020–24. IARC periodically convenes such advisory groups to ensure that the Monographs evaluations reflect the current state of scientific evidence relevant to carcinogenicity.
Humans are frequently exposed to acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen found in commonplace sources such as most heated starchy foods or tobacco smoke. Prior evidence has shown that acrylamide causes cancer in rodents, yet epidemiological studies conducted to date are limited and, thus far, have yielded inconclusive data on association of human cancers with acrylamide exposure. In this study, we experimentally identify a novel and unique mutational signature imprinted by acrylamide through the effects of its reactive metabolite glycidamide. We next show that the glycidamide mutational signature is found in a full one-third of approximately 1600 tumor genomes corresponding to 19 human tumor types from 14 organs. The highest enrichment of the glycidamide signature was observed in the cancers of the lung (88% of the interrogated tumors), liver (73%), kidney (>70%), bile duct (57%), cervix (50%), and, to a lesser extent, additional cancer types. Overall, our study reveals an unexpectedly extensive contribution of acrylamide-associated mutagenesis to human cancers.
Acrylamide has been classified as a “Group 2A carcinogen” (probably carcinogenic to humans) by the IARC. The carcinogenicity of acrylamide is attributed to its well-recognized genotoxicity. In the present study, we investigated the effect of acrylamide on epigenetic alterations in mice. Female B6C3F1 mice received acrylamide in drinking water for 28 days, at doses previously used in a two-year cancer bioassay (0, 0.0875, 0.175, 0.35, and 0.70 mM), and the genotoxic and epigenetic effects were investigated in lungs, a target organ for acrylamide carcinogenicity, and livers, a non-target organ. Acrylamide exposure resulted in a dose-dependent formation of N7-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl)guanine and N3-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl)adenine in liver and lung DNA. In contrast, the profiles of global epigenetic alterations differed between the two tissues. In the lungs, acrylamide exposure resulted in a decrease of histone H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3), a common epigenetic feature of human cancer, while in the livers there was increased acetylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27), a gene transcription activating mark. Treatment with 0.70 mM acrylamide also resulted in substantial alterations in the DNA methylation and whole transcriptome in the lungs and livers; however, there were substantial differences in the trends of DNA methylation and gene expression changes between the two tissues. Analysis of differentially expressed genes showed a marked up-regulation of genes and activation of the gene transcription regulation pathway in livers, but not lungs. This corresponded to increased histone H3K27ac and DNA hypomethylation in livers, in contrast to hypermethylation and transcription silencing in lungs. Our results demonstrate that acrylamide induced global epigenetic alterations independent of its genotoxic effects, suggesting that epigenetic events may determine the organ-specific carcinogenicity of acrylamide. Additionally this study provides strong support for the importance of epigenetic alterations, in addition to genotoxic events, in the mechanism of carcinogenesis induced by genotoxic chemical carcinogens.
Arsenic is a ubiquitous contaminant, with typical human dietary intake below 1 μg/kg bw/d and extreme drinking water exposures up to ∼50 μg/kg bw/d. The formation and binding of trivalent metabolites are central to arsenic toxicity and strong human evidence suggests special concern for early life exposures in the etiology of adult diseases, especially cancer. This study measured the metabolism and disposition of arsenite in neonatal mice to understand the role of maturation in metabolic activation and detoxification of arsenic. Many age-related differences were observed after gavage administration of arsenite, with consistent evidence in blood and tissues for higher exposures to trivalent arsenic species in neonatal mice related to the immaturity of metabolic and/or excretory functions. The evidence for greater tissue binding of arsenic species in young mice is consistent with enhanced susceptibility to toxicity based on metabolic and toxicokinetic differences alone. Lactational transfer from arsenite-dosed dams to suckling mice was minimal, based on no dosing-related changes in the levels of arsenic species in pup blood or milk collected from the dams. Animal models evaluating whole-life exposure to inorganic arsenic must use direct dosing in early neonatal life to predict accurately potential toxicity from early life exposures in children.
Triclosan, a widely used broad spectrum anti-bacterial agent, is hepatotoxic in rodents and exhibits differential effects on mouse and human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) in vitro; however, the mechanism underlying triclosan-induced liver toxicity has not been elucidated. This study examined the role of mouse and human PPARα in triclosan-induced liver toxicity by comparing the effects between wild-type and PPARα-humanized mice. Female mice of each genotype received dermal applications of 0, 58, or 125 mg triclosan/kg body weight daily for 13 weeks. Following the treatment, triclosan caused an increase in liver weight and relative liver weight only in wild-type mice. The expression levels of PPARα target genes cytochrome P450 4A and acyl-coenzyme A oxidase 1 were increased in livers of both wild-type and PPARα-humanized mice, indicating that triclosan activated PPARα. Triclosan also elevated the expression levels of peroxisomal membrane protein PMP70 and catalase in the livers of both genotypes, suggesting that triclosan promoted the production of hepatocyte peroxisomes. There was an enhanced expression of cyclin D1, c-myc, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and Ki67, and a higher percentage of BrdU-labeled hepatocytes in wild-type mice, but not in PPARα-humanized mice, demonstrating triclosan-activated PPARα had differential effects on the hepatocyte proliferation. These findings imply that the differential effects of triclosan-activated PPARα on cell proliferation may play a role in the species differences in triclosan-induced liver toxicity.
The increasing number of man-made chemicals in the environment that may pose a carcinogenic risk highlights the need for developing reliable time- and cost-effective approaches for carcinogen detection and identification. To address this issue, we investigated the utility of high-throughput microarray gene expression and next-generation genome-wide DNA methylation sequencing for the in vitro identification of genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens. Terminally differentiated and metabolically competent human liver HepaRG cells were treated at minimally cytotoxic concentrations of (i) the genotoxic human liver carcinogen aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and its structural non-carcinogenic analog aflatoxin B2 (AFB2); (ii) the genotoxic human lung carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and its non-carcinogenic isomer benzo[e]pyrene (B[e]P); and (iii) the non-genotoxic liver carcinogen methapyrilene for 72 h and transcriptomic and DNA methylation profiles were examined. Treatment of HepaRG cells with the liver carcinogens AFB1 and methapyrilene generated distinct gene-expression profiles, whereas B[a]P had a slight effect on gene expression. In contrast to transcriptomic alterations, treatment of HepaRG cells with the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic chemicals resulted in profound changes in the DNA methylation footprint; however, the correlation between gene-specific DNA methylation and gene expression changes was minimal. Among the carcinogen-altered genes, transferrin (TF) emerged as sensitive marker for an initial screening of chemicals for their potential liver carcinogenicity. Potential liver carcinogens (i.e., chemicals causing altered TF gene expression) could then be subjected to gene-expression analyses to differentiate genotoxic from non-genotoxic liver carcinogens. This approach may substantially enhance the identification and assessment of potential liver carcinogens.
Pan-cancer analyses of tumor genomes reveal mutational signatures characteristic of particular etiologic factors. The signatures are extracted mathematically from mixed patterns typically observed by tumor sequencing. However, the components of signatures originating from complex carcinogen mixtures have not been studied in detail. Lung, head and neck and liver tumors of tobacco smokers exhibit COSMIC signature 4 marked by predominant G>N mutations, involving mainly G:C>T:A transversions with transcription strand bias, consistent with the mutagenic effects of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). Additionally, A>N mutations (strand-biased A:T>T:A transversions and A:T>G:C transitions) are also prominently present, yet their origins are less understood. By using exposure-coupled clonal immortalization of human and mouse primary cells and deep sequencing, we were able to dissect ‘clean' mutational signatures of tobacco smoke carcinogens B[a]P and glycidamide (GA), a key reactive metabolite of acrylamide (ACR). Whole-genome sequencing of multiple clones derived from primary B[a]P-treated human mammary epithelial cells identified a robust mutational signature marked by strand-biased G>N mutations and increased GG>TT dinucleotides, while no apparent enrichment of A:T>T:A mutations was observed. Next, in ACR and GA-treated primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we established by the LC-MS/MS DNA adduct analysis that ACR exerts its mutagenic effects exclusively via GA. We then extracted from 15 treated clones the exome-scale mutational signature of GA, marked by predominant A:T>T:A transversions followed by A:T>G:C transitions and G:C>T:A transversions, all showing transcription strand bias. Similarity analysis involving known primary-cancer and experimental mutational signatures indicated that the GA mutational signature was novel. A more in-depth comparison with mutation patterns from lung adenocarcinomas of heavy smokers revealed that the GA signature, including its strand bias features, matched closely with and may thus account for the A>N mutation component of the tobacco smoking-derived signature 4. Thus, mutational signatures generated in controlled experimental settings may explain particular sub-features of cancer signatures arising from co-exposures to multiple carcinogens. Furthermore, the use of innovative in vitro systems, characterized by biological barrier bypass to mimic early steps of cell transformation, can provide revealing insights into the molecular links between mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Funding: INCa-INSERM Plan Cancer 2015; NIH/NIEHS 1R03ES025023-01A1 Citation Format: Manuraj Pandey, Maria Zhivagui, Mona I. Churchwell, Alvin W. Ng, Liacine Bouaoun, Vincent Cahais, Martha R. Stampfer, Magali Olivier, Zdenko Herceg, Ewy Mathé, Steven G. Rozen, Frederick A. Beland, Michael Korenjak, Jiri Zavadil. Deciphering components of mutational signatures arising from carcinogen co-exposures: A genome-scale experimental approach [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3088.
Nevirapine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor used for the treatment of AIDS, can cause serious skin rashes and hepatotoxicity. Previous studies have indicated that the benzylic sulfate 12-sulfoxynevirapine, the formation of which is catalyzed by human sulfotransferases (SULTs), may play a causative role in these toxicities. To characterize better the role of 12-sulfoxynevirapine in nevirapine-induced cytotoxicity, the ability of 12 expressed human SULT isoforms to conjugate 12-hydroxynevirapine was assessed. Of the 12 human SULTs, no detectable 12-sulfoxynevirapine was observed with SULT1A3, SULT1C2, SULT1C3, SULT2B1, SULT4A1, or SULT6B1. As determined by the Vmax/Km ratio, SULT2A1 had the highest overall 12-hydoxynevirapine sulfonation activity; lower activities were observed with SULT1A1, SULT1A2, SULT1B1, SULT1C4, and SULT1E1. Incubation of 12-sulfoxynevirapine with glutathione and cysteine led to adduct formation; lower yields were obtained with deoxynucleosides. 12-Hydroxynevirapine was more cytotoxic than nevirapine to TK6, TK6/SULT vector, and TK6/SULT2A1 cells. With nevirapine, there was no difference in cytotoxicity among the three cell lines, whereas with 12-hydroxynevirapine, TK6/SULT2A1 cells were more resistant than TK6 and TK6/SULT vector cells. Co-incubation of 12-hydroxynevirapine with the competitive SULT2A1 substrate dehydroepiandrosterone decreased the level of 12-sulfoxynevirapine and increased the cytotoxicity in TK6/SULT2A1 cells. These data demonstrate that although 12-sulfoxynevirapine reacts with nucleophiles to form adducts, sulfonation of 12-hydroxynevirapine decreases the cytotoxicity of 12-hydroxynevirapine in TK6 cells.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest human cancers, with a steadily rising incidence in the United States and worldwide. Most HCC patients are diagnosed at intermediate and advanced stages of the disease when treatment options are limited to systematic therapy; however, the individual patient response to treatment varies significantly. In the present study, we investigated an ability of the base-line mircoRNA (miRNA) expression profile in human liver cancer cells to predict the response to chemotherapeutic drugs currently used in the clinical management of HCC. Next-generation sequencing analysis of the base-line miRNA expression in naïve SK-Hep-1, Hep3B, HepG2, Huh7, and PLC/PRF/5 cells showed different miRNA expression profiles, among which 70 miRNAs were in common among all cell lines. A detailed analysis of the common miRNAs revealed that SK-Hep-1 and HepG2 cells exhibited the major differences in their base-line miRNA expression. The cancer cells were then treated with sorafenib, doxorubicin hydrochloride, 5-fluorouracil, and cisplatin, and cell survival was determined by cell viability assays. The sensitivity of liver cancer cells to these chemotherapeutic drugs varied among the cell lines, with SK-Hep-1 cells being the most resistant to sorafenib and the most sensitive to 5-fluorouracil. In contrast, HepG2 cells were the most sensitive to sorafenib, doxorubicin hydrochloride, and cisplatin treatment and the most resistant to 5-fluorouracil. Further analysis of miRNA expression in these two cell lines identified 107 distinct differentially expressed miRNAs (cut-off > 5-fold) involved in the regulation of critical cancer-related pathways. Among these differentially expressed miRNAs, the basal expression pattern of several miRNAs corresponded to the miRNA expression patterns associated with an acquired cancer-cell-resistant phenotype to sorafenib. Specifically, miR-10a and miR-181 were up-regulated and miR-27b, miR-34a, miR-122, miR-200a, and miR-200b were down-regulated in naïve SK-Hep-1 cells. Likewise, the low basal expression of miR-30a, miR-30b, miR-27a, miR-125b, miR-135b, miR-149, and miR-218 and over-expression of miR-143 and miR-200a in naïve HepG2 were similar to that in cells with an acquired 5-fluorouracil cancer-resistant phenotype. These findings were confirmed in functional transfection experiments that showed ectopic modulation of miRNA levels in SK-Hep-1 and HepG2 modified their drug sensitivity to sorafenib and 5-fluorouracil. These results suggest that analysis of the expression of these miRNAs in HCC at the onset of chemotherapy may help to determine the optimal treatment options, prevent the development of multidrug resistance, and improve overall clinical management of HCC. Citation Format: Volodymyr Tryndyak, Iryna Kindrat, Brigit McDannell, Frederick A. Beland, Igor P. Pogribny. A microRNA signature panel predicts differential sensitivity of liver cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 5887.
Non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is becoming one of the major causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States and Western countries; however, the molecular mechanisms associated with NASH‐related liver carcinogenesis are not well understood. In the present study, we investigated cancer‐associated chromatin alterations using a model that resembles the development of NASH‐related HCC in humans. An assay for transposase‐accessible chromatin with high throughput sequencing (ATAC‐seq) identified 1,677 tumor‐specific chromatin‐accessible regions in NASH‐derived HCC tissue samples. Using a combined analysis of ATAC‐seq and global gene expression data, we identified 199 differentially expressed genes, 139 up‐regulated and 60 down‐regulated. Interestingly, 15 of the 139 up‐regulated genes had accessible chromatin sites within 5 Kb of the transcription start site (TSS), including Apoa4, Anxa2, Serpine1, Igfbp1, and Tubb2a, genes critically involved in the development of NASH and HCC. We demonstrate that the mechanism for the up‐regulation of these genes is associated with the enrichment of chromatin‐accessible regions by transcription factors, especially NFATC2, and histone H3K4me1 and H3K27ac gene transcription‐activating marks. These data underline the important role of chromatin accessibility perturbations i reshaping of the chromatin landscape in NASH‐related HCC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Arsenic is ubiquitous in the earth's crust, and human diseases are linked with exposures that are similar to dietary intake estimates. Metabolic methylation of inorganic arsenic facilitates excretion of pentavalent metabolites and decreases acute toxicity; however, tissue binding of trivalent arsenic intermediates is evidence for concomitant metabolic activation. Pregnant and fetal CD-1 mice comprise a key animal model for arsenic carcinogenesis since adult-only exposures have minimal effects. This study evaluated inorganic arsenic and its metabolites in pentavalent and trivalent states in blood and tissues from maternal and fetal CD-1 mice after repeated administration of arsenite through drinking water. After 8 days of exposure, DMA species were ubiquitous in dams and fetuses. Despite the presence of MMAIIIin dams, none was observed in any fetal sample. This difference may be important in assessing fetal susceptibility to arsenic toxicity because MMA production has been linked with human disease. Binding of DMAIIIin fetal tissues provided evidence for metabolic activation, although the role for such binding in arsenic toxicity is unclear. This study provides links between administered dose, metabolism, and internal exposures from a key animal model of arsenic toxicity to better understand risks from human exposure to environmental arsenic.
Smith et al. (Env. Health Perspect. 124: 713, 2016) identified 10 key characteristics (KCs), one or more of which are commonly exhibited by established human carcinogens. The KCs reflect the properties of a cancer-causing agent, such as 'is genotoxic,' 'is immunosuppressive' or 'modulates receptor-mediated effects,' and are distinct from the hallmarks of cancer, which are the properties of tumors. To assess feasibility and limitations of applying the KCs to diverse agents, methods and results of mechanistic data evaluations were compiled from eight recent IARC Monograph meetings. A systematic search, screening and evaluation procedure identified a broad literature encompassing multiple KCs for most (12/16) IARC Group 1 or 2A carcinogens identified in these meetings. Five carcinogens are genotoxic and induce oxidative stress, of which pentachlorophenol, hydrazine and malathion also showed additional KCs. Four others, including welding fumes, are immunosuppressive. The overall evaluation was upgraded to Group 2A based on mechanistic data for only two agents, tetrabromobisphenol A and tetrachloroazobenzene. Both carcinogens modulate receptor-mediated effects in combination with other KCs. Fewer studies were identified for Group 2B or 3 agents, with the vast majority (17/18) showing only one or no KCs. Thus, an objective approach to identify and evaluate mechanistic studies pertinent to cancer revealed strong evidence for multiple KCs for most Group 1 or 2A carcinogens but also identified opportunities for improvement. Further development and mapping of toxicological and biomarker endpoints and pathways relevant to the KCs can advance the systematic search and evaluation of mechanistic data in carcinogen hazard identification.
Inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen associated with several types of cancers, including liver cancer. Inorganic arsenic has been postulated to target stem cells, causing their oncogenic transformation. This is proposed to be one of the key events in arsenic-associated carcinogenesis; however, the underlying mechanisms for this process remain largely unknown. To address this question, human hepatic HepaRG cells, at progenitor and differentiated states, were continuously treated with a non-cytotoxic concentration of 1 μM sodium arsenite (NaAsO2). The HepaRG cells demonstrated active intracellular arsenite metabolism that shared important characteristic with primary human hepatocytes. Treatment of proliferating progenitor-like HepaRG cells with NaAsO2 inhibited their differentiation into mature hepatocyte-like cells, up-regulated genes involved in cell growth, proliferation, and survival, and down-regulated genes involved in cell death. In contrast, treatment of differentiated hepatocyte-like HepaRG cells with NaAsO2 resulted in enhanced cell death of mature hepatocyte-like cells, over-expression of cell death-related genes, and down-regulation of genes in the cell proliferation pathway, while biliary-like cells remained largely unaffected. Mechanistically, the cytotoxic effect of arsenic on mature hepatocyte-like HepaRG cells may be attributed to arsenic-induced dysregulation of cellular iron metabolism. The inhibitory effect of NaAsO2 on the differentiation of progenitor cells, the resistance of biliary-like cells to cell death, and the enhanced cell death of functional hepatocyte-like cells resulted in stem-cell activation. These effects favored the proliferation of liver progenitor cells that can serve as a source of initiation and driving force of arsenic-mediated liver carcinogenesis.
The substantial rise in the prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and the strong association between NASH and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma indicate the urgent need for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In the present study, by using the Stelic animal model of NASH and NASH-derived liver carcinogenesis, we investigated the role of the folate-dependent 1-carbon metabolism in the pathogenesis of NASH. We demonstrated that advanced NASH and NASH-related liver carcinogenesis are characterized by a significant dysregulation of 1-carbon homeostasis, with diminished expression of key 1-carbon metabolism genes, especially a marked inhibition of the S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (Ahcy) gene and an increased level of S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH). The reduction in Ahcy expression was associated with gene-specific cytosine DNA hypermethylation and enrichment of the gene promoter by trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 and deacetylated histone H4 lysine 16, 2 main transcription-inhibiting markers. These results indicate that epigenetically mediated inhibition of Ahcy expression may be a driving force in causing SAH elevation and subsequent downstream disturbances in transsulfuration and transmethylation pathways during the development and progression of NASH.-Pogribny, I. P., Dreval, K., Kindrat, I., Melnyk, S., Jimenez, L., de Conti, A., Tryndyak, V., Pogribna, M., Ortega, J. F., James, S. J., Rusyn, I., Beland, F. A. Epigenetically mediated inhibition of S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase and the associated dysregulation of 1-carbon metabolism in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The liver, a central detoxification organ and main regulator of systemic iron homeostasis, is prone to damage by xenobiotics. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the hepatotoxicant and hepatocarcinogen methapyrilene hydrochloride on iron metabolism in rat liver in a repeat-dose in vivo toxicity study and in human HepaRG cells in vitro. Treatment of male Fischer 344 (F344) rats with methapyrilene at doses 40 and 80mg/kg body weight (bw)/day by gavage for 6 weeks resulted in changes in the expression of classic hepatotoxicity-related marker genes and iron homeostasis-related genes, especially a prominent, dose-dependent down-regulation of the transferrin (Tf) gene and an up-regulation of the ferritin, light chain (Ftl) gene. A decrease in the level of TF and an increase in the level of FTL also occurred in methapyrilene-treated differentiated HepaRG cells, indicating the existence of interspecies and in vitro-in vivo similarities in the disturbance of cellular iron homeostasis upon liver injury. In contrast, there was minimal overlap in the expression of liver toxicity-marker genes in the livers of rats and in HepaRG cells treated with methapyrilene. Importantly, the decrease of transferrin at mRNA and protein levels occurred after the treatment with a low dose of methapyrilene that exhibited minimal cytotoxicity. These results demonstrate the significance of the dysregulation of hepatic iron metabolism in the pathogenesis and mechanism of chemical-induced liver toxicity and suggest that these changes may be sensitive and useful indicators of potentially hepatotoxic chemicals.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Recent epidemiological studies have identified nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a progressive form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as a major risk factor for HCC. Elucidating the underlying mechanisms associated with the development of NASH-derived HCC is critical for identifying early biomarkers for the progression of the disease and for treatment and prevention. In the present study, using liver samples from C57BL/6J mice submitted to the Stelic Animal Model (STAM) of NASH-associated liver carcinogenesis, we investigated the role of microRNA (miRNA) alterations in the pathogenesis of NASH-derived HCC. We found substantial alterations in the expression of miRNAs, with the greatest number occurring in fullfledged HCC. Mechanistically, altered miRNA expression was associated with activation of major hepatocarcinogenesis-related pathways, including the TGF-β, Wnt/β-catenin, ERK1/2, mTOR, and EGF signaling. In addition, the over-expression of the miR-221-3p and miR-222-3p and oncogenic miR-106b~25 cluster was accompanied by the reduced protein levels of their targets, including E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (CDKN1A). Importantly, miR-93-5p, miR-221-3p, and miR-222-3p were also significantly overexpressed in human HCC. These findings suggest that aberrant expression of miRNAs may have mechanistic significance in NASH-associated liver carcinogenesis and may serve as an indicator for the development of NASH-derived HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive human cancers and the incidence is steadily increasing worldwide. The molecular mechanisms leading to the development of HCC consist of genetic and epigenetic aberrations, including changes in global and gene-specific DNA methylation and altered expression of several classes of non-coding RNAs. While changes in DNA methylation and microRNA expression during the development of HCC are well-studied, the role of aberrant post-translational histone modifications remains unexplored. Using a mouse Stelic Animal Model (STAM) of NASH-associated liver carcinogenesis, we have investigated alterations in hepatic histone modifications at steatotic (6 weeks), fibrotic (12 weeks), and full-fledged HCC (20 weeks) stages of the HCC development. NASH-related liver carcinogenesis was characterized by a progressive decrease in the levels of histone H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3) and histone H4 lysine 16 acetylation (H4K16ac), with the greatest decrease occurring in full-fledged tumors. Mechanistically, the deacetylation of H4K16ac was associated with nuclear protein 1 (Nupr1)-mediated inhibition of histone lysine acetyltransferase KAT8. In addition to a global loss of hepatic H4K16ac, there was a significant decrease of gene-specific H4K16ac, as indicated by a reduced level of H4K16ac in 16 out of 25 critical cancer-related genes. More importantly, the changes in the extent of gene-specific H4K16 deacetylation were positively correlated with the level of gene transcription (r = 0.965, p < 0.01). These results indicate that a reduction of global and gene-specific of H4K16ac is a key pathophysiological mechanism contributing to the development of NAFLD-derived HCC. Citation Format: Kostiantyn Dreval, Aline de Conti, Orish Ebere Orisakwe, Frederick A. Beland, Igor P. Pogribny. Inhibition of gene expression during non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-related hepatocarcinogenesis is mediated by histone H4 lysine 16 deacetylation [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 2407. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-2407
Furan, a volatile heterocyclic organic chemical found in a wide spectrum of common human foods, is a liver toxicant and carcinogen in mice and rats. The carcinogenic effects of furan have been attributed to genotoxic and non-genotoxic mechanisms. Among the broad range of non-genotoxic alterations induced by furan, epigenetic alterations are of special interest because of their connection to all other non-genotoxic events. This review summarizes current evidence of alterations for epigenetic mechanisms, including cytosine DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA expression, caused by furan exposure and highlights the role of these aberrations in furan-associated hepatobiliary pathologies. It also illustrates the potential role of epigenetic alterations as indicators for carcinogen exposure and for identification of carcinogens, especially those with non-genotoxic mechanisms of action.
Recent epidemiological studies have attributed the growing incidence of liver cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in the United States to NASH, an advanced form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Elucidating the molecular pathways that lead to the development of NASH-derived HCC is critical not only for identifying early diagnostic biomarkers of the disease, but also for treatment and prevention. We have investigated the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the development of NASH-derived HCC by using a Stelic Animal Model (STAM) of liver carcinogenesis. Using Liver miFinder PCR arrays, we examined the miRNA profiles in the livers of STAM mice and identified 25 and 35 miRNAs that were differentially expressed at a NASH-fibrotic stage (12 weeks) and in full-fledged HCC (20 weeks), respectively. Among these differentially expressed miRNAs, 18 miRNAs were in common. Multi-algorithm target prediction analysis of the common differentially expressed miRNAs revealed the involvement of these miRNAs in the deregulation of major molecular processes associated with the development of HCC, including epithelial-mesenchymal transition, HCC stem cell activation, and the induction of the β-catenin/Wnt and Hippo signaling pathways. These findings were confirmed by a marked up-regulation of Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1), the main effector of the Hippo-pathway, the activation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and an increased-expression of hepatic progenitor cell markers. In addition to the common differentially expressed miRNAs, 10 miRNAs, including 5 members of the polycistronic oncomir miR-17-92 cluster, were found to be over-expressed in only HCC. These results indicate the fundamental role of miRNAs in the development of NASH-associated HCC. This is evidenced by the early occurrence of miRNA alterations at the preneoplastic stage of liver carcinogenesis, the persistence of these changes in HCC, and the accumulation of additional miRNA alterations in HCC, and by the existence of a mechanistic link between miRNA alterations and deregulation key cancer-related pathways. Citation Format: Juliana F. Ortega, Aline DeConti, Kostiantyn Dreval, Fernando S. Moreno, Frederick A. Beland, Igor P. Pogribny. Role of miRNAome deregulation in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-derived hepatocellular carcinoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 472. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-472
In a previous study, the oral administration of an Aloe vera whole leaf extract induced dose-related mucosal and goblet cell hyperplasia in the rat colon after 13-weeks and colon cancer after two years. The primary goal of this study was to determine whether or not the administration of aloin, a component of the Aloe vera plant leaf, would replicate the pathophysiological effects that were observed in rats in the previous study with an Aloe vera whole leaf extract. Groups of 10 male F344/N rats were administered aloin at 0, 6.95, 13.9, 27.8, 55.7, 111, 223, and 446 mg/kg drinking water for 13 weeks. At the end of study, rat feces were collected, and the composition of fecal bacteria was investigated by next generation sequencing of the PCR-amplified V3/V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. At necropsy, blood was collected by cardiac puncture and organs and sections of the large intestine were collected for histopathology. Aloin induced dose-related increased incidences and severities of mucosal and goblet cell hyperplasia that extended from the cecum to the rectum, with increased incidences and severities detected at aloin doses ≥ 55.7 mg/kg drinking water. Analysis of the 16S rRNA metagenomics sequencing data revealed marked shifts in the structure of the gut microbiota in aloin-treated rats at each taxonomic rank. This study highlights the similarities in effects observed for aloin and the Aloe vera whole leaf extract, and points to a potential mechanism of action to explain the observed pathological changes via modulation of the gut microbiota composition.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive human cancers and its incidence is steadily increasing worldwide. Recent epidemiological findings have suggested that the increased incidence of HCC is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); however, the mechanisms and the molecular pathogenesis of NASH-related HCC are not fully understood. In order to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the development of NASH-related HCC, we investigated the hepatic transcriptomic and histone modification profiles in Stelic Animal Model (STAM) mice, the first animal model of NASH-related HCC to resemble the disease pathogenesis in humans. The results demonstrate that the development of NASH-related HCC is characterized by progressive transcriptomic alterations, global loss of histone H4 lysine 20 trimethylation (H4K20me3), and global and gene-specific deacetylation of histone H4 lysine 16 (H4K16). Pathway analysis of the entire set of differentially expressed genes indicated that the inhibition of cell death pathway was the most prominent alteration and this was facilitated by persistent gene-specific histone H4K16 deacetylation. Mechanistically, deacetylation of histone H4K16 was associated with down-regulation of lysine acetyltransferase KAT8, which was driven by over-expression of its inhibitor nuclear protein 1 (Nupr1). The results of the present study identified a reduction of global and gene-specific histone H4K16 acetylation as a key pathophysiological mechanism contributing to the development of NASH-derived HCC, and emphasized the importance of epigenetic alterations as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for HCC.
Excessive alcohol consumption has a significant impact on human health and is a major public health problem worldwide. One of the consequences of long-term excessive alcohol consumption is cellular injury in almost all organs and tissues, with acute kidney injury (AKI) being one of the most common pathological manifestations. In the present study, using a mouse model of alcoholic liver fibrosis-associated AKI induced by a combined treatment with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and ethanol and resembling pathological features of AKI in human alcoholic liver fibrosis, we demonstrate alterations in histone modifications in the kidneys and, importantly, in the promoter region of the over-expressed SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 9 (Sox9) gene. The level of SOX9 protein in the kidneys of AKI-mice is reduced and correlates inversely with increased expression of microRNA miR-1247. Mechanistically, the over-expression of miR-1247 is associated with a markedly increased in histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation in the upstream region of the Mir1247 gene. The results of the present study demonstrate a functional role of epigenetic mechanisms in AKI and indicate the importance of correcting the epigenetic dysregulation for the proper renal tubule maintenance and repair.
Cosmetic products that contain retinyl palmitate are popular as anti-aging skin treatments; however, recent studies suggest a risk for enhanced skin tumor development with topical retinyl palmitate applications and exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). In this study, we investigated the potential of retinyl palmitate to enhance UVR-induced photo co-carcinogenesis. Groups of 36 male and 36 female SKH-1 hairless mice were exposed to simulated solar light (SSL) and treated with the control cream or creams containing retinyl palmitate, five days per week for 40 weeks. Other groups of mice were exposed to SSL and received no cream treatment or received cream treatments and were exposed to ultraviolet-A or -B. Mice were monitored for the development of skin tumors, and the incidences and multiplicities of squamous cell neoplasia were determined by histopathology. In both the absence and presence of SSL, mice administered the control cream developed skin tumors earlier and had higher incidences and multiplicities of skin squamous cell neoplasms than mice that received no cream treatment. Compared to the control cream groups, mice exposed to SSL and administered the retinyl palmitate creams demonstrated earlier onsets of skin tumors and had increased incidences and multiplicities of squamous cell skin neoplasms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are among the most common poisonous plants affecting livestock, wildlife, and humans. Exposure of humans and livestock to toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids through the intake of contaminated food and feed may result in poisoning, leading to devastating epidemics. During February 2014, 73 mixed breed female beef cows from the Galilee region of Israel were accidently fed pyrrolizidine alkaloid-contaminated hay for 42 days, resulting in the sudden death of 24 cows over a period of 63 days. The remaining cows were slaughtered 2.5 months after the last ingestion of the contaminated hay. In this study, we report the histopathological analysis of the livers from five of the slaughtered cows and quantitation of pyrrolizidine alkaloid-derived DNA adducts from their livers and three livers of control cows fed with feed free of weeds producing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Histopathological examination revealed that the five cows suffered from varying degrees of bile duct proliferation, fibrosis, and megalocytosis. Selected reaction monitoring HPLC-ES-MS/MS analysis indicated that (±)-6,7-dihydro-7-hydroxy-1-hydroxymethyl-5H-pyrrolizine (DHP)-derived DNA adducts were formed in all five livers. The livers from the three control cows did not have any liver damage nor any indication of DHP-DNA adduct formed. These results confirm that the toxicity observed in these cattle was caused by pyrrolizidine alkaloid poisoning and that pyrrolizidine alkaloid-derived DNA adducts could still be detected and quantified in the livers of the chronically poisoned cows 2.5 months after their last exposure to the contaminated feed, suggesting that DHP-derived DNA adducts can serve as biomarkers for pyrrolizidine alkaloid exposure and poisoning.
Continuous lifetime exposure to certain natural and man-made chemicals is a major cause of cancers in humans; therefore, evaluating the carcinogenic risks of chemicals remains important. Currently, substantial progress has been made in identification of genotoxic carcinogens; in contrast, predicting a carcinogenic potential of non-genotoxic compounds is a challenge due to many different modes of action that may lead to tumorigenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the non-genotoxic liver carcinogen methapyrilene and the nongenotoxic non-carcinogen usnic acid at doses that do not exhibit organ cytotoxicity on epigenomic alterations in the liver and kidneys of Fischer 344 (F344) rats. We demonstrate that the repeatdose oral treatment of male F344 rats with methapyrilene for six weeks caused target organspecific epigenetic alterations in the livers. In contrast, slight or no epigenetic changes were found in the livers of F344 rats treated with hepatotoxicant, but non-carcinogen, usnic acid. Themetahpyrilene-induced epigenetic changes consisted of changes in histone lysine acetylation and methylation, with the greatest decrease being in global and gene-specific histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) acetylation. Importantly, the results of the present study show an association between gene-specific histone H3K9 deacetylation and a reduced expression of critical cancer-related genes, including prospero homeobox 1 (Prox1), HNF1 homebox A (Hnf1a), and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (Ppara), which provides a mechanistic link between methapyrilene-induced epigenetic aberrations and liver carcinogenesis.
Background Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and Western countries. In humans, genetic factors greatly influence individual susceptibility to NAFLD; nonetheless, the effect of inter-individual differences in the normal liver epigenome with regard to the susceptibility to NAFLD has not been determined. Results In the present study, we investigated the association between the DNA methylation status in the livers of A/J and WSB/EiJ mice and the severity of NAFLD-associated liver injury. We demonstrate that A/J and WSB/EiJ mice, which are characterized by significant differences in the severity of liver injury induced by a choline- and folate-deficient (CFD) diet exhibit substantial differences in cytosine DNA methylation in their normal livers. Furthermore, feeding A/J and WSB/EiJ mice a CFD diet for 12 weeks resulted in different trends and changes in hepatic cytosine DNA methylation. Conclusion Our findings indicate a primary role of hepatic DNA methylation in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and suggest that individual variations in DNA methylation across the genome may be a factor determining and influencing the vulnerability to NAFLD. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2617-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Triclosan is a widely used broad-spectrum anti-bacterial agent. The objectives of this study were to identify which cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms metabolize triclosan and to examine the effects of CYP-mediated metabolism on triclosan-induced cytotoxicity. A panel of HepG2-derived cell lines was established, each of which overexpressed a single CYP isoform, including CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, CYP2A7, CYP2A13, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C18, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, CYP4A11, and CYP4B1. The extent of triclosan metabolism by each CYP was assessed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with online radiochemical detection. Seven isoforms were capable of metabolizing triclosan, with the order of activity being CYP1A2 > CYP2B6 > CYP2C19 > CYP2D6 ≈ CYP1B1 > CYP2C18 ≈ CYP1A1. The remaining 11 isoforms (CYP2A6, CYP2A7, CYP2A13, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2E1, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, CYP4A11, and CYP4B1) had little or no activity toward triclosan. Three metabolites were detected: 2,4-dichlorophenol, 4-chlorocatechol, and 5′-hydroxytriclosan. Consistent with the in vitro screening data, triclosan was extensively metabolized in HepG2 cells overexpressing CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP2C18, and these cells were much more resistant to triclosan-induced cytotoxicity compared to vector cells, suggesting that CYP-mediated metabolism of triclosan attenuated its cytotoxicity. In addition, 2,4-dichlorophenol and 4-chlorocatechol were less toxic than triclosan to HepG2/vector cells. Conjugation of triclosan, catalyzed by human glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) and sulfotransferases (SULTs), also occurred in HepG2/CYP-overexpressing cells and primary human hepatocytes, with a greater extent of conjugation being associated with higher cell viability. Co-administration of triclosan with UGT or SULT inhibitors led to greater cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells and primary human hepatocytes, indicating that glucuronidation and sulfonation of triclosan are detoxification pathways. Among the 18 CYP-overexpressing cell lines, an inverse correlation was observed between cell viability and the level of triclosan in the culture medium. In conclusion, human CYP isoforms that metabolize triclosan were identified, and the metabolism of triclosan by CYPs, UGTs, and SULTs decreased its cytotoxicity in hepatic cells.
Furan is a rodent hepatocarcinogen ubiquitously found in the environment and heat-processed foods. Furan undergoes cytochrome P450 2E1-catalyzed bioactivation to cis-2-butene-1,4-dial (BDA), which has been shown to form an electrophilic conjugate (GSH-BDA) with glutathione. Both BDA and GSH-BDA yield covalent adducts with lysine residues in proteins. Dose- and time-dependent epigenetic histone alterations have been observed in furan-treated rats. While the covalent modification of histones by chemical carcinogens has long been proposed, histone-carcinogen adducts have eluded detection in vivo. In this study, we investigated if the covalent modification of histones by furan may occur in vivo prior to epigenetic histone alterations.
Furan is a volatile organic chemical that is a contaminant in many common foods. Furan is hepatocarcinogenic in mice and rats; however, the risk to humans from dietary exposure to furan cannot be estimated accurately because the lowest tested dose of furan in a 2-year bioassay in rats gave nearly a 100% incidence of cholangiocarcinoma. To provide bioassay data that can be used in preparing risk assessments, the carcinogenicity of furan was determined in male F344/N Nctr rats administered 0, 0.02, 0.044, 0.092, 0.2, 0.44, 0.92, and 2 mg furan/kg body weight (BW) by gavage 5 days/week for 2 years. Exposure to furan was associated with the development of malignant mesothelioma on membranes surrounding the epididymis and on the testicular tunics, with the increase being significant at 2 mg furan/kg BW. There was also a dose-related increase in the incidence of mononuclear cell leukemia, with the increase in incidence being significant at 0.092, 0.2, 0.92, and 2 mg furan/kg BW. Dose-related non-neoplastic liver lesions included cholangiofibrosis, mixed cell foci, basophilic foci, biliary tract hyperplasia, oval cell hyperplasia, regenerative hyperplasia, and cytoplasmic vacuolization. The most sensitive non-neoplastic lesion was cholangiofibrosis, the frequency of which increased significantly at 0.2 mg furan/kg BW.
Squalene is a component of oil-in-water emulsion adjuvants developed for potential use in some influenza vaccines. The biodistribution of the squalene-containing emulsion adjuvant (AddaVax™) alone and as part of complete H5N1 vaccine was quantified in mechanistically and toxicologically relevant target tissues up to 336 h (14 days) following injection into quadriceps muscle. At 1 h, about 55% of the intramuscularly injected dose of squalene was detected in the local quadriceps muscles and this decreased to 26% at 48 h. Twenty-four hours after the injection approximately 5%, 1%, and 0.6% of the injected dose was detected in inguinal fat, draining lymph nodes, and sciatic nerve, respectively. The peak concentration for kidney, brain, spinal cord, bone marrow, or spleen was each less than 1% of the injected dose, and H5N1 antigen did not significantly alter the biodistribution of squalene to these tissues. The area-under-blood-concentration curve (AUC) and peak blood concentration (Cmax) of squalene were slightly higher (20–25%) in the presence of H5N1 antigen. A population pharmacokinetic model-based statistical analysis identified body weight and H5N1 antigen as covariates influencing the clearance of squalene. The results will contribute to the body of knowledge informing benefit-risk analyses of squalene-containing emulsion vaccine adjuvants.
Furan is a significant food contaminant and a potent hepatotoxicant and rodent liver carcinogen. The carcinogenic effect of furan has been attributed to genotoxic and non-genotoxic, including epigenetic, changes in the liver; however, the mechanisms of the furan-induced liver tumorigenicity are still unclear. The goal of the present study was to investigate the role of transcriptomic and epigenetic events in the development of hepatic lesions in Fischer (F344) rats induced by furan treatment in a classic 2-year rodent tumorigenicity bioassay. High-throughput whole-genome transcriptomic analysis demonstrated distinct alterations in gene expression in liver lesions induced in male F344 rats treated with 0.92 or 2.0 mg furan/kg body weight (bw)/day for 104 weeks. Compared to normal liver tissue, 1336 and 1541 genes were found to be differentially expressed in liver lesions in rats treated with 0.92 and 2.0 mg furan/kg bw/day, respectively, among which 1001 transcripts were differentially expressed at both doses. Pairing transcriptomic and next-generation bisulfite sequencing analyses of the common differentially expressed genes identified 42 CpG island-containing genes in which the methylation level was correlated inversely with gene expression. Forty-eight percent of these genes (20 genes, including Areg, Jag1, and Foxe1) that exhibited the most significant methylation and gene expression changes were involved in key pathways associated with different aspects of liver pathology. Our findings illustrate that gene-specific DNA methylation changes have functional consequences and may be an important component of furan hepatotoxicity and hepatocarcinogenicity.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are phytochemicals present in hundreds of plant species from different families widely distributed in many geographical regions around the world. PA-containing plants are probably the most common type of poisonous plants affecting livestock, wildlife, and humans. There have been many large-scale human poisonings caused by the consumption of food contaminated with toxic PAs. PAs require metabolic activation to generate pyrrolic metabolites to exert their toxicity. In this study, we developed a novel method to quantify pyrrole-protein adducts present in the blood. This method involves the use of AgNO3 in acidic ethanol to cleave the thiol linkage of pyrrole-protein (DHP-protein) adducts, and the resulting 7,9-di-C2H5O-DHP is quantified by HPLC-ES-MS/MS multiple reaction monitoring analysis in the presence of a known quantity of isotopically-labeled 7,9-di-C2D5O-DHP internal standard. Using this method, we determined that diester-type PAs administered to rats produced higher levels of DHP-protein adducts than other types of PAs. The results suggest that DHP-protein adducts can potentially serve as a minimally invasive biomarker of PA exposure.
Furan, a rodent liver carcinogen, is a chemical contaminant found in a broad range of cooked foods. Despite a lack of conclusive evidence regarding furan genotoxicity, several reports indicate that furan induces a broad range of non-genotoxic alterations, including aberrant expression microRNAs (miRNAs). In order to clarify the role of miRNA alterations with respect to furan carcinogenicity, we investigated the expression of several cancer-related miRNAs in the livers of Fischer 344 rats treated continuously with furan. The results demonstrate that furan induced marked changes in miRNA expression, characterized by over-expression of hepatic miRNAs, miR-34a, miR-93, miR-200a, miR-200b, and miR-224, and down-regulation of miR-375. Interestingly, a majority of furan-induced miRNA changes diminished after the cessation of the furan treatment. In contrast, the expression of miR-375 steadily decreased in a time-dependent manner following furan treatment. The reduced expression of miR-375 was accompanied by cytosine DNA hypermethylation and increased lysine methylation of histone H3K9 and H3K27 at the MiR-375 gene. The significance of miR-375 inhibition with respect to the pathogenesis of furan-induced liver toxicity and carcinogenicity may be attributed to its role in the up-regulation of Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1), which is one of the principal events in the liver carcinogenesis. The results of the present study support the hypothesis of the non-genotoxic mode of action of furan and emphasize the importance of epigenetic alterations in the mechanism of furan hepatotoxicity.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), an aggressive and the fastest growing life-threatening cancer worldwide, is often diagnosed at intermediate or advanced stages of the disease, which substantially limits therapeutic approaches for its successful treatment. This indicates that the prevention of hepatocarcinogenesis is probably the most promising approach to reduce both the HCC incidence and cancer-related mortality. In previous studies, we demonstrated a potent chemopreventive effect of tributyrin, a butyric acid prodrug, on experimental hepatocarcinogenesis. The cancer-inhibitory effect of tributyrin was linked to the suppression of sustained cell proliferation and induction of apoptotic cell death driven by an activation of the p53 apoptotic signaling pathway. The goal of the present study was to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms linked to tributyrin-mediated p53 activation. Using in vivo and in vitro models of liver cancer, we demonstrate that an increase in the level of p53 protein in nuclei, a decrease in the level of cytoplasmic p53, and, consequently, an increase in the ratio of nuclear/cytoplasmic p53 in rat preneoplastic livers and in rat and human HCC cell lines caused by tributyrin or sodium butyrate treatments was associated with a marked increase in the level of nuclear chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) protein. Mechanistically, the increase in the level of nuclear p53 protein was associated with a substantially reduced binding interaction between CRM1 and p53. The results demonstrate that the cancer-inhibitory activity of sodium butyrate and its derivatives on liver carcinogenesis may be attributed to retention of p53 and CRM1 proteins in the nucleus, an event that may trigger activation of p53-mediated apoptotic cell death in neoplastic cells.
Triclosan, triclocarban, 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), and bisphenol A (BPA) have been reported to disturb thyroid hormone (TH) homeostasis. We have examined the effects of these chemicals on sodium/iodide symporter (NIS)-mediated iodide uptake and the expression of genes involved in TH synthesis in rat thyroid follicular FRTL-5 cells, and on the activity of thyroid peroxidase (TPO) using rat thyroid microsomes. All four chemicals inhibited NIS-mediated iodide uptake in a concentration-dependent manner. A decrease in the iodide uptake was also observed in the absence of sodium iodide. Kinetic studies showed that all four chemicals were non-competitive inhibitors of NIS, with the order of Ki values being triclosan < triclocarban < BDE-47 < BPA. The transcriptional expression of three genes involved in TH synthesis, Slc5a5, Tpo, and Tgo, and three thyroid transcription factor genes, Pax8, Foxe1, and Nkx2-1, was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. No significant changes in the expression of any genes were observed with triclosan or triclocarban. BDE-47 decreased the level of Tpo, while BPA altered the expression of all six genes. Triclosan and triclocarban inhibited the activity of TPO at 166 and > 300 μM, respectively. Neither BDE-47 nor BPA affected TPO activity. In conclusion, triclosan, triclocarban, BDE-47, and BPA inhibited iodide uptake, but had differential effects on the expression of TH synthesis-related genes and the activity of TPO.
Over-expression of transferrin receptor 1 (TFRC) is observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, there is a lack of conclusive information regarding the mechanisms of this dysregulation. In the present study, we demonstrated a significant increase in the levels of TFRC mRNA and protein in preneoplastic livers from relevant experimental models of human hepatocarcinogenesis and in human HCC cells. Additionally, using the TCGA database, we demonstrated an over-expression of TFRC in human HCC tissue samples and a markedly decreased level of microRNA-152 (miR-152) when compared to non-tumor liver tissue. The results indicated that the increase in levels of TFRC in human HCC cells and human HCC tissue samples may be attributed, in part, to a post-transcriptional mechanism mediated by a down-regulation of miR-152. This was evidenced by a strong inverse correlation between the level of TFRC and the expression of miR-152 in human HCC cells (r = -0.99, p = 4. 7 × 10-9), and was confirmed by in vitro experiments showing that transfection of human HCC cell lines with miR-152 effectively suppressed TFRC expression. This suggests that miR-152-specific targeting of TFRC may provide a selective anticancer therapeutic approach for the treatment of HCC.
Tolvaptan, a vasopressin receptor 2 antagonist used to treat hyponatremia, has recently been reported to be associated with liver injury. Sulfotransferases (SULTs) have been implicated as important detoxifying and/or activating enzymes for numerous xenobiotics, drugs, and endogenous compounds. To characterize better the role of SULTs in tolvaptan metabolism, HEK293 cells stably overexpressing 12 human SULTs were generated. Using these cell lines, the extent of tolvaptan sulfate formation was assessed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography through comparison to a synthetic standard. Of the 12 known human SULTs, no detectable sulfation of tolvaptan was observed with SULT1A1, SULT1A2, SULT1A3, SULT1C2, SULT1C4, SULT4A1, or SULT6B1. The affinity of individual SULT isozymes, as determined by Km analysis, was SULT1C3 ≫ SULT2A1 > SULT2B1 ~ SULT1B1 > SULT1E1. The half inhibitory concentration of tolvaptan on cell growth in HEK293/SULT1C3 cells and HEK293/CYP3A4 & SULT1C3cells was significantly lower than that in the corresponding HEK293/vector cells or HEK293//CYP3A4 & SULT vector cells. Moreover, exposing cells to tolvaptan in the presence of cyclosporine A, an inhibitor of the drug efflux transporters, significantly increased the intracellular levels of tolvaptan sulfate and decreased the cell viability in HEK293/SULT1C3 cells. These data indicate that sulfation increased the cytotoxicity of tolvaptan.
Recent advances in toxicogenomics present an opportunity to develop new in vitro testing methodologies to identify human carcinogens. We have investigated microRNA expression responses to the treatment of human liver HepaRG cells with the human genotoxic carcinogens aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), and the structurally similar compounds aflatoxin B2 (AFB2) and benzo[e]pyrene (B[e]P) that exhibit minimal carcinogenic potential. We demonstrate that treatment of HepaRG cells with AFB1 or B[a]P resulted in specific changes in the expression of miRNAs as compared to their non-carcinogenic analogues, particularly in a marked over-expression of miR-410. An additional novel finding is the dose- and time-dependent inhibition of miR-122 in AFB1-treated HepaRG cells. Mechanistically, the AFB1-induced down-regulation of miR-122 was attributed to inhibition of the HNF4A/miR-122 regulatory pathway. These results demonstrate that HepaRG cells can be used to investigate miRNA responses to xenobiotic exposure, and illustrate the existence of early non-genotoxic events, in addition to a well-established genotoxic mode of action changes, in the mechanism of AFB1 and B[a]P carcinogenicity.
Human exposure to certain natural and man-made chemical carcinogens is one of the major risk factors for cancer development. The effect of chemical carcinogens on genetic and epigenetic alterations and their significance in the development of cancer has been well-established. In contrast, the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the etiology of chemical-associated cancers remains relatively unexplored despite extensive reports on changes in miRNA expression upon carcinogen exposure. This review summarizes the current knowledge for the role of miRNAs as drivers of chemical-induced carcinogenesis by bridging the gap between carcinogen exposure and cancer development through functional studies. It also emphasizes the potential for miRNA changes as early indicators of the carcinogenic process, markers for carcinogen exposure, and identification of chemical carcinogenic hazards.
Dietary deficiency in methyl-group donors and cofactors induces liver injury that resembles many pathophysiological and histopathological features of human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including an altered expression of microRNAs (miRNAs). We evaluated the consequences of a choline- and folate-deficient (CFD) diet on the expression of miRNAs in the livers of male A/J and WSB/EiJ mice. The results demonstrate that NAFLD-like liver injury induced by the CFD diet in A/J and WSB/EiJ mice was associated with marked alterations in hepatic miRNAome profiles, with the magnitude of miRNA expression changes being greater in WSB/EiJ mice, the strain characterized by the greatest severity of liver injury. Specifically, WSB/EiJ mice exhibited more prominent changes in the expression of common miRNAs as compared to A/J mice and distinct miRNA alterations, including the overexpression of miR-134, miR-409-3p, miR-410 and miR-495 miRNAs that were accompanied by an activation of hepatic progenitor cells and fibrogenesis. This in vivo finding was further confirmed by in vitro experiments showing an overexpression of these miRNAs in undifferentiated progenitor hepatic HepaRG cells compared to in fully differentiated HepaRG cells. Additionally, a marked elevation of miR-134, miR-409-3p, miR-410 and miR-495 was found in plasma of WSB/EiJ mice fed the CFD diet, while none of the miRNAs was changed in plasma of A/J mice. These findings suggest that miRNAs may be crucial regulators responsible for the progression of NAFLD and may be useful as noninvasive diagnostic indicators of the severity and progression of NAFLD.
Acrylamide is a contaminant in baked and fried starchy foods, roasted coffee, and cigarette smoke. Previously we reported that acrylamide is a multi-organ carcinogen in B6C3F1 mice and F344/N rats, and hypothesized that acrylamide is activated to an ultimate carcinogen through metabolism to the epoxide glycidamide. We have now examined the carcinogenic effects of glycidamide administered at 0, 0.0875, 0.175, 0.35 and 0.70 mM in drinking water to the same strains of rodents for two years. In male and female mice, there were significant increases in tumors of the Harderian gland, lung, forestomach, and skin. Female mice also had an increased incidence of tumors of the mammary gland and ovary. In male and female rats, there were significant increases in thyroid gland and oral cavity neoplasms and mononuclear cell leukemia. Male rats also had increases in tumors of the epididymis/testes and heart, while female rats demonstrated increases in tumors of the mammary gland, clitoral gland, and forestomach. A similar spectrum of tumors was obtained in mice and rats administered acrylamide. These data indicate that, under the conditions of these bioassays, acrylamide is efficiently metabolized to glycidamide and that the carcinogenic activity of acrylamide is due to its conversion into glycidamide.
Over-expression of transferrin receptor 1 (TFRC) is observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, there is a lack of conclusive information regarding the mechanisms of this dysregulation. In the present study, we demonstrated a significant increase in the levels of TFRC mRNA and protein in preneoplastic livers from relevant experimental models of human hepatocarcinogenesis and in human HCC cells. Additionally, using the TCGA database, we demonstrated an over-expression of TFRC in human HCC tissue samples and a markedly decreased level of microRNA-152 (miR-152) when compared to non-tumor liver tissue. The results indicated that the increase in levels of TFRC in human HCC cells and human HCC tissue samples may be attributed, in part, to a post-transcriptional mechanism mediated by a down-regulation of miR-152. This was evidenced by a strong inverse correlation between the level of TFRC and the expression of miR-152 in human HCC cells (r = −0.99, p = 4. 7 × 10 −9), and was confirmed by in vitro experiments showing that transfection of human HCC cell lines with miR-152 effectively suppressed TFRC expression. This suggests that miR-152-specific targeting of TFRC may provide a selective anticancer therapeutic approach for the treatment of HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent human cancers, with rising incidence worldwide. The molecular mechanisms associated with the development of HCC are complex and include multiple interconnected molecular alterations with mounting evidence indicating an important role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of HCC. In humans, the development of HCC is commonly associated with liver cirrhosis. To study fibrosis-associated liver carcinogenesis, we used a mouse model designed to emulate the development of HCC in cirrhotic liver. Specifically, we were interested in evaluating the role of miRNAs in the molecular pathogenesis of liver carcinogenesis in male B6C3F1/J mice treated with N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) or carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ) alone or a combination of DEN and CCl4 and characterized by a differential tumor incidence that increased in the following order: DEN<CCl4 <DEN+CCl4 . Treatment with DEN alone had negligible effect on hepatic miRNA expression. In contrast, treatment with either CCl4 alone or a combination of DEN and CCl4 resulted in major changes in miRNA expression. The analysis of miRNA profiles demonstrated an involvement of dysregulated miRNAs in major processes associated with the development of liver tumors, including inflammation, fibrosis, and stem cell activation. Importantly, the greatest incidence of liver tumors in mice treated with DEN+CCl4 was accompanied by a distinct over-expression of miRNAs suggesting that miRNA alterations may be responsible, at least in part, for the high tumor incidence. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Tolvaptan, a vasopressin receptor 2 antagonist used to treat hyponatremia, has recently been reported to be associated with an increased risk of liver injury. In this study, we explored the underlying mechanisms of hepatotoxicity of tolvaptan using human HepG2 cells. Tolvaptan inhibited cell growth and caused cell death in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Tolvaptan treatment led to delayed cell cycle progression, accompanied by decreased levels of several cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases. Tolvaptan was found to cause DNA damage, as assessed by alkaline comet assays; this was confirmed by increased levels of 8-oxoguanine and phosphorylation of histone H2AX. Exposure of HepG2 cells to tolvaptan enhanced cytochrome C release and triggered apoptosis by modulating Bcl-2 family members. The activation of p38 contributed to tolvaptan-mediated apoptosis via down-regulation of Bcl-2. Proteasome inhibition altered tolvaptan-induced cell cycle deregulation and enhanced tolvaptan-induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity. Moreover, tolvaptan treatment induced autophagy. Inhibition of autophagy by knocking-down an autophagy-related gene increased tolvaptan-induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity. Taken together, our findings suggest that the cytotoxicity of tolvaptan results from delayed cell cycle progression, the induction of DNA damage, and the execution of apoptosis. In addition, a number of signaling pathways were perturbed by tolvaptan and played an important role in its cytotoxicity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Introduction: Adverse drug reactions present significant challenges that impact pharmaceutical development and are major burdens to public health services worldwide. In response to this need, the field of toxicology is rapidly expanding to identify key pathways involved in drug toxicity. Areas covered: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small evolutionary conserved endogenous non-coding RNAs that regulate the translation of protein-coding genes. A wide range of toxicants alter miRNA levels in target organs and these altered miRNAs can also be detected in easily accessible biological fluids. This, combined with an early miRNA response to toxic insults and miRNA stability, substantiates the potential for these small molecules to be useful biomarkers for drug safety assessment. Expert opinion: miRNAs are early indicators and useful tools to detect drug-induced toxicity. Incorporation of miRNA profiling into the drug safety testing process will complement currently used techniques and may substantially enhance drug safety. With the increasing interests in translational research, the field of miRNA biomarker research will continue to expand and become an important part of the investigation of human drug toxicity.
Recently the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that IARC Working Groups' failures to recognize study weaknesses and biases of Working Group members have led to inappropriate classification of a number of agents as carcinogenic to humans. The authors of this paper are scientists from various disciplines relevant to the identification and hazard evaluation of human carcinogens. We have examined here criticisms of the IARC classification process to determine the validity of these concerns. We review the history of IARC evaluations and describe how the IARC evaluations are performed. We conclude that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various discipline and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has been modified over time and will undoubtedly be altered in the future to improve the process. Any process can in theory be improved, and we would support continued review and improvement of the IARC processes. This does not mean, however, that the current procedures are flawed. The IARC Monographs have made, and continue to make, major contributions to the scientific underpinning for societal actions to improve the public's health.
Triclosan [5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol] is a widely used antimicrobial agent in personal care products, household items, medical devices, and clinical settings. Due to its extensive use, there is potential for humans in all age groups to receive life-time exposures to triclosan, yet data on the chronic dermal toxicity/carcinogenicity of triclosan are still lacking. The present study evaluated the toxicity of triclosan administered dermally to B6C3F1 mice for 13 weeks. Groups of 10 male and 10 female B6C3F1 mice received dermal applications of 0, 5.8, 12.5, 27, 58, or 125 mg triclosan per kg body weight (bw) daily for 13 weeks. The doses were administered in 1 ml ethanol per kg bw. All mice survived the 13-week treatment period. Body weights of female mice receiving 125 mg triclosan per kg bw per day weighed 94% (p < 0.05) of the female control mice; male mice administered 58 and 125 mg triclosan per kg bw per day weighed 91% (p < 0.05) and 82% (p < 0.01) of the control male mice. Liver weights were significantly increased in females receiving 58 and 125 mg triclosan per kg bw per day and in males in the 125 mg triclosan per kg bw per day dose group. A significant dose-dependent decrease in the levels of thyroxine and cholesterol was observed in both sexes. The highest dose of triclosan increased the percentage of reticulocytes in both sexes; in addition, the 58 mg triclosan per kg bw per day dose increased the percentage of reticulocytes in females. Skin lesions (dermal fibrosis and inflammation; epidermal hyperplasia, inflammation, necrosis, and ulceration, and parakeratosis) were observed in both sexes, with a dose-dependent increase in severity and incidence.
Nevirapine (NVP) is the non-nucleoside HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitor most commonly used in developing countries, both as a component of combined antiretroviral therapy and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus; however, severe hepatotoxicity and serious adverse cutaneous effects raise concerns about its safety. NVP metabolism yields several phenolic derivatives conceivably capable of undergoing further metabolic oxidation to electrophilic quinoid derivatives prone to react with bionucleophiles and initiate toxic responses. We investigated the ability of two phenolic NVP metabolites, 2-hydroxy-NVP and 3-hydroxy-NVP, to undergo oxidation and subsequent reaction with bionucleophiles. Both metabolites yielded the same ring-contraction product upon oxidation with Frémy's salt in aqueous medium. This is consistent with the formation of a 2,3-NVP-quinone intermediate, which upon stabilization by reduction was fully characterized by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Additionally, we established that the oxidative activation of 2-hydroxy-NVP involved the transient formation of both the quinone and a quinone-imine, whereas 3-hydroxy-NVP was selectively converted into 2,3-NVP-quinone. The oxidations of 2-hydroxy-NVP and 3-hydroxy-NVP in the presence of the model amino acids ethyl valinate (to mimic the highly reactive N-terminal valine of hemoglobin) and N-acetylcysteine were also investigated. Ethyl valinate reacted with both 2,3-NVP-quinone and NVP-quinone-imine, yielding covalent adducts. By contrast, neither 2,3-NVP-quinone nor NVP-derived quinone-imine reacted with N-acetylcysteine. The product profile observed upon Frémy's salt oxidation of 2-hydroxy-NVP in the presence of ethyl valinate was replicated with myeloperoxidase-mediated oxidation. Additionally, tyrosinase-mediated oxidations selectively yielded 2,3-NVP-quinone-derived products, while quinone-imine-derived products were obtained upon lactoperoxidase catalysis. These observations suggest that the metabolic conversion of phenolic NVP metabolites into quinoid electrophiles is biologically plausible. Moreover, the lack of reaction with sulfhydryl groups might hamper the in vivo detoxification of NVP-derived quinone and quinone-imine metabolites via glutathione conjugation. As a result, these metabolites could be available for reaction with nitrogen-based bionucleophiles (e.g., lysine residues of proteins) ultimately eliciting toxic events.
Furan is a heterocyclic organic compound produced in the chemical manufacturing industry and also found in a broad range of food products, including infant formulas and baby foods. Previous reports have indicated that the adverse biological effects of furan, including its liver tumorigenicity, may be associated with epigenetic abnormalities. In the present study we investigated the persistence of epigenetic alterations in rat liver. Male F344 rats were treated by gavage 5 days per week with 8 mg furan/kg body weight (bw)/day for 90 days. After the last treatment, rats were divided randomly into four groups; one group of rats was sacrificed 24 hours after the last treatment, while other groups were maintained without further furan treatment for an additional 90, 180, or 360 days. Treatment with furan for 90 days resulted in alterations in histone lysine methylation and acetylation, induction of base excision DNA repair genes, suggesting oxidative damage to DNA, and changes in the gene expression in the livers. A majority of these furan-induced molecular changes was transient and disappeared after the cessation of furan treatment. In contrast, histone H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 56 showed a sustained and time-depended decrease in acetylation, which was associated with formation of heterochromatin and altered gene expression. These results indicate that furan-induced adverse effects may be mechanistically related to sustained changes in histone lysine acetylation that compromise the ability of cells to maintain and control properly the expression of genetic information. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology 2014. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
The molecular pathogenesis of autism is complex and involves numerous genomic, epigenomic, proteomic, metabolic, and physiological alterations. Elucidating and understanding the molecular processes underlying the pathogenesis of autism is critical for effective clinical management and prevention of this disorder. The goal of this study is to investigate key molecular alterations postulated to play a role in autism and their role in the pathophysiology of autism. In this study we demonstrate that DNA isolated from the cerebellum of BTBR T+tf/J mice, a relevant mouse model of autism, and from human post-mortem cerebellum of individuals with autism, are both characterized by an increased levels of 8-oxo-7-hydrodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), 5-methylcytosine (5mC), and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). The increase in 8-oxodG and 5mC content was associated with a markedly reduced expression of the 8-oxoguanine DNA-glycosylase 1 (Ogg1) and increased expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases 3a and 3b (Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b). Interestingly, a rise in the level of 5hmC occurred without changes in the expression of ten-eleven translocation expression 1 (Tet1) and Tet2 genes, but significantly correlated with the presence of 8-oxodG in DNA. This finding and similar elevation in 8-oxodG in cerebellum of individuals with autism and in the BTBR T+tf/J mouse model warrant future large-scale studies to specifically address the role of OGG1 alterations in pathogenesis of autism.
Triclosan is used as an antimicrobial agent in personal care products, household items, medical devices, and clinical settings. Humans can receive lifelong exposures to triclosan; however, data on the toxicity and carcinogenicity after topical application are lacking. This study determined the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of triclosan after application to the skin of B6C3F1 mice. [14C(U)]triclosan (10 or 100 mg triclosan/kg body weight) was administered topically to mice in two separate experiments: a vehicle selection experiment using propylene glycol, ethanol, and a generic cosmetic cream, and a toxicokinetic experiment. Mice were killed up to 72 h after triclosan administration, and excreta and tissues were analyzed for radioactivity. Ethanol had the best properties of the vehicles evaluated. Maximum absorption was obtained at approximately 12 h after dosing. Radioactivity appeared in the excreta and in all tissues examined, with the highest levels in the gall bladder and the lowest levels in the brain. Triclosan was metabolized to triclosan sulfate, triclosan glucuronide, 2,4-dichlorophenol, and hydroxytriclosan. The metabolite profile was tissue-dependent and the predominant route of excretion was fecal. The AUC0–∞ and the Cmax of plasma and liver in females were greater than those in males. Slightly lower absorption was observed in mice with Elizabethan collars. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2014.
Proceedings: AACR Annual Meeting 2014; April 5-9, 2014; San Diego, CA Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers and its incidence is rising worldwide. The molecular mechanisms associated with the development of HCC are complex and include multiple interconnected alterations driven by both genetic and epigenetic events. Mounting evidence indicates an important role of microRNAs (miRNAs), post-transcriptional negative regulators of gene expression, in the pathogenesis of HCC. In humans, the development of HCC is commonly associated with liver cirrhosis. To mimic the molecular pathogenesis of human HCC, we used a mouse model of fibrosis-associated liver cancer, which was designed to emulate cirrhotic liver. Tumor and non-tumor liver samples from B6C3F1 mice treated with N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN; a single ip injection of 1 mg/kg at 14 days of age) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4; 200 µl/kg, 2 times/week ip for 14 weeks starting at 8 weeks of age) were analyzed. Using TaqMan® array miRNA cards, we identified a total of 52 and 45 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in tumor and non-tumor liver tissue, respectively, from DEN/CCl4-treated mice as compared to those in livers of vehicle-treated control B6C3F1 mice. Importantly, 27 differentially expressed miRNAs were common for both tumor and non-tumor samples from DEN/CCl4-treated mice. These miRNAs are involved in the major cancer pathways including apoptosis, cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. These results suggest that changes in miRNA expression during hepatocarcinogenesis may occur at very early stages of the carcinogenic process, preceding the formation of detectable neoplastic lesions. Most notably, our results showing 27 miRNAs common for tumor and non-tumor tissue suggest that a miRNA profile associated with the development of HCC could potentially be used to decipher the precise molecular mechanisms of disease progression and/or be used as early markers for detecting neoplastic lesions in the liver. Citation Format: April K. Marrone, Volodymyr Tryndyak, Grace Chappell, Frederick A. Beland, Ivan Rusyn, Igor P. Pogribny. The microRNA profile is altered in fibrosis-associated hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2014 Apr 5-9; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2014;74(19 Suppl):Abstract nr 5227. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2014-5227
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent used in many personal care products, household items, medical devices, and clinical settings. Liver tumors occur in mice exposed to triclosan, a response attributed to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) activation; however, the effects of triclosan on mouse and human PPARα have not been fully evaluated. We compared the effects of triclosan on mouse and human PPARα using PPARα reporter assays and on downstream events of PPARα activation using mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells and human hepatoma HepG2 cells. PPARα transcriptional activity was increased by triclosan in a mouse PPARα reporter assay and decreased in a human PPARα reporter assay. Concentrations of triclosan inhibiting 50% cell growth were similar in both human and mouse hepatoma cells. Western blotting analysis showed that triclosan increased acyl-coenzyme A oxidase (ACOX1), a PPARα target, in Hepa1c1c7 cells but decreased the level in HepG2 cells. Treatment of Hepa1c1c7 cells with triclosan enhanced DNA synthesis and suppressed transforming growth factor beta-mediated apoptosis. This did not occur in HepG2 cells. These data demonstrate that triclosan had similar cytotoxicity in Hepa1c1c7 and HepG2 cells, but differential effects on the activation of PPARα, the expression of ACOX1, and downstream events including DNA synthesis and apoptosis.
Introduction: Human exposure to certain environmental and occupational chemicals is one of the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, including cancer. Therefore, it is desirable to take advantage of subtle exposure-related adverse cellular events for early disease detection and to identify potential dangers caused by new and currently under-evaluated drugs and chemicals. Nongenotoxic events due to carcinogen/toxicant exposure are a general hallmark of sustained cellular stress leading to tumorigenesis. These processes are globally regulated via noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). Tumorigenesis-associated genotoxic and nongenotoxic events lead to the altered expression of ncRNAs and may provide a mechanistic link between chemical exposure and tumorigenesis. Current advances in toxicogenomics are beginning to provide valuable insight into gene-chemical interactions at the transcriptome level. Areas covered: In this review, we summarize recent information about the impact of xenobiotics on ncRNAs. Evidence highlighted in this review suggests a critical role of ncRNAs in response to carcinogen/toxicant exposure. Expert opinion: Benefits for the use of ncRNAs in carcinogenicity assessment include remarkable tissue specificity, early appearance, low baseline variability, and their presence and stability in biological fluids, which suggests that the incorporation of ncRNAs in the evaluation of cancer risk assessment may enhance substantially the efficiency of toxicity and carcinogenicity testing.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major health problem worldwide. Currently, there is a lack of conclusive information to clarify the molecular events and mechanisms responsible for the progression of NAFLD to fibrosis and cirrhosis and, more importantly, for differences in inter-individual disease severity. The aim of this study was to investigate a role of inter-individual differences in iron metabolism among inbred mouse strains in the pathogenesis and severity of fibrosis in a model of NAFLD. Feeding male A/J, 129S1/SvImJ, and WSB/EiJ mice a choline and folate-deficient (CFD) diet caused NAFLD-associated liver injury and iron metabolism abnormalities, especially in WSB/EiJ mice. NAFLD-associated fibrogenesis was correlated with a marked strain- and injury-dependent increase in the expression of iron metabolism genes, especially transferrin receptor (Tfrc), ferritin heavy chain (Fth1), and solute carrier family 40 (iron-regulated transporter), member 1 (Slc40a1, Fpn1) and their related proteins, and pronounced down-regulation of the iron regulatory protein 1 (IRP1), with the magnitude being A/J < 129S1/SvImJ < WSB/EiJ. Mechanistically, down-regulation of IRP1 was linked to an increased expression of microRNAs miR-200a and miR-223, which was negatively correlated with IRP1. The results of this study demonstrate that the inter-strain variability in the extent of fibrogenesis was associated with a strain-dependent deregulation of hepatic iron homeostasis.
Tamoxifen is a non-steroidal anti-estrogenic drug widely used for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer in women; however, there is evidence that tamoxifen is hepatocarcinogenic in rats, but not in mice. Additionally, it has been reported that tamoxifen may cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in humans and experimental animals. The goals of the present study were to (i) investigate the mechanisms of the resistance of mice to tamoxifen-induced hepatocarcinogenesis, and (ii) clarify effects of tamoxifen on NAFLD-associated liver injury. Feeding female WSB/EiJ mice a 420 p.p.m. tamoxifen-containing diet for 12 weeks resulted in an accumulation of tamoxifen-DNA adducts, (E)-α-(deoxyguanosin-N2-yl)-tamoxifen (dG-TAM) and (E)-α-(deoxyguanosin-N2-yl)-N-desmethyltamoxifen (dG-DesMeTAM), in the livers. The levels of hepatic dG-TAM and dG-DesMeTAM DNA adducts in tamoxifen-treated mice were 578 and 340 adducts/108 nucleotides, respectively, while the extent of global DNA and repetitive elements methylation and histone modifications did not differ from the values in control mice. Additionally, there was no biochemical or histopathological evidence of NAFLD-associated liver injury in mice treated with tamoxifen. A transcriptomic analysis of differentially expressed genes demonstrated that tamoxifen caused predominantly down-regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism genes accompanied by a distinct over-expression of the lipocalin 13 (Lcn13) and peroxisome proliferator receptor gamma (Pparɣ), which may prevent the development of NAFLD. The results of the present study demonstrate that the resistance of mice to tamoxifen-induced liver carcinogenesis may be associated with its ability to induce genotoxic alterations only without affecting the cellular epigenome and an inability of tamoxifen to induce the development of NAFLD.
Triclosan is a broad spectrum anti-bacterial agent widely used in many personal care products, household items, medical devices, and clinical settings. Human exposure to triclosan is mainly through oral and dermal routes. In previous studies, we found that sub-chronic dermal exposure of B6C3F1 mice to triclosan induced epidermal hyperplasia and focal necrosis; however, the mechanisms for these responses remain elusive. In this study, using mouse epidermis-derived JB6 Cl 41-5a cells, we found that triclosan stimulated cell growth in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Enhanced cell proliferation was demonstrated by a substantial increase in the percentage of BrdU-positive cells, an elevation in the protein levels of cyclin D1 and cyclin A, and a reduction in the protein level of p27(Kip1). Western blotting analysis revealed that triclosan induced the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), p38, and Akt. Pre-treatment of the cells with PD184352, an inhibitor of the upstream kinase MEK1/2, or with wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, blocked triclosan-mediated phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt, respectively, and substantially suppressed triclosan-stimulated cell proliferation, whereas the JNK inhibitor SP600125 or the p38 inhibitor SB203580 had little to no effect on triclosan-stimulated cell proliferation. The phosphorylation activation of ERK1/2 and Akt was further confirmed on the skin of mice dermally administered triclosan. These data suggest that the activation of ERK1/2 and Akt is involved in triclosan-stimulated proliferation of JB6 Cl 41-5a cells.
The steady increase in the incidence and mortality of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) signifies a crucial need to understand better its pathogenesis to improve clinical management and prevention of the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate molecular mechanisms for the chemopreventive effects of folic acid and tributyrin alone or in combination on rat hepatocarcinogenesis. Male Wistar rats were subjected to a classic "resistant hepatocyte" model of liver carcinogenesis and treated with folic acid and tributyrin alone or in combination for 5 weeks during promotion stage. Treatment with folic acid and tributyrin alone or in combination strongly inhibited the development of glutathione-S-transferase placental form (GSTP)-positive foci. Microarray analysis showed significant changes in gene expression. A total of 501, 655, and 940 of differentially expressed genes, involved in cell cycle, p53-signaling, angiogenesis, and Wnt pathways, was identified in the livers of rats treated with folic acid, tributyrin or folic acid and tributyrin. A detailed analysis of these differentially expressed genes revealed that treatments inhibited angiogenesis in the preneoplastic livers. This was evidenced by the fact that 30 out of 77 differentially expressed genes common to all three treatments are involved in the regulation of the angiogenesis pathway. The inhibition of angiogenesis was confirmed by reduced levels of CD34 protein. In conclusion, the tumor-suppressing activity of folic acid and tributyrin is associated with inhibition of angiogenesis at early stages of rat liver carcinogenesis. Importantly, the combination of folic acid and tributyrin has stronger chemopreventive effect than each of the compounds alone. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
ScopeA compromised nutritional status in methyl-group donors may provoke several molecular alterations triggering the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in humans and experimental animals. In this study, we investigated a role and the underlying molecular mechanisms of methionine metabolic pathway malfunctions in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.Methods and resultsWe fed female Swiss albino mice a control (methionine-adequate) diet and two experimental (methionine-deficient or methionine-supplemented) diets for 10 weeks, and the levels of one-carbon metabolites, expression of one-carbon and lipid metabolism genes in the livers were evaluated. We demonstrate that both experimental diets increased hepatic levels of S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine and homocysteine, altered expression of one-carbon and lipid metabolism genes, and caused lipid accumulation, especially in mice fed the methionine-deficient diet. Markers of oxidative and ER stress response were also elevated in the livers of mice fed either diet.Conclusion Our findings indicate that both dietary methionine deficiency and methionine supplementation can induce molecular abnormalities in the liver associated with the development of NAFLD, including deregulation in lipid and one-carbon metabolic pathways, and induction of oxidative and ER stress. These pathophysiological events may ultimately lead to lipid accumulation in the livers, triggering the development of NAFLD.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent cancers and is rising in incidence worldwide. The molecular mechanisms leading to the development of HCC are complex and include both genetic and epigenetic events. To determine the relative contribution of these alterations in liver tumorigenesis, we evaluated epigenetic modifications at both global and gene specific levels, as well as the mutational profile of genes commonly altered in liver tumors. A mouse model of fibrosis-associated liver cancer that was designed to emulate cirrhotic liver, a prevailing disease state observed in most humans with HCC, was used. Tumor and non-tumor liver samples from B6C3F1 mice treated with N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN; a single ip injection of 1 mg/kg at 14 days of age) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ; 0.2 ml/kg, 2 times/week ip starting at 8 weeks of age for 14 weeks), as well as corresponding vehicle control animals, were analyzed for genetic and epigenetic alterations. H-ras, Ctnnb1, and Hnf1α genes were not mutated in tumors in mice treated with DEN+CCl4 . In contrast, the increased tumor incidence in mice treated with DEN+CCl4 was associated with marked epigenetic changes in liver tumors and non-tumor liver tissue, including demethylation of genomic DNA and repetitive elements, a decrease in histone 3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3), and promoter hypermethylation and functional down-regulation of Riz1, a histone lysine methyltransferase tumor suppressor gene. Additionally, the reduction in H3K9me3 was accompanied by increased expression of long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE) 1 and short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINE) B2, which is an indication of genomic instability. In summary, our results suggest that epigenetic events, rather than mutations in known cancer-related genes, play a prominent role in increased incidence of liver tumors in this mouse model of fibrosis-associated liver cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Tobacco smoke (TS) is a major cause of human bladder cancer (BC). Two components in TS, 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) and acrolein, which also are environmental contaminants, can cause bladder tumor in rat models. Their role in TS related BC has not been forthcoming. To establish the relationship between acrolein and 4-ABP exposure and BC, we analyzed acrolein-deoxyguanosine (dG) and 4-ABP-DNA adducts in normal human urothelial mucosa (NHUM) and bladder tumor tissues (BTT), and measured their mutagenicity in human urothelial cells. We found that the acrolein-dG levels in NHUM and BTT are 10-30 fold higher than 4-ABP-DNA adduct levels and that the acrolein-dG levels in BTT are 2 fold higher than in NHUM. Both acrolein-dG and 4-ABP-DNA adducts are mutagenic; however, the former are 5 fold more mutagenic than the latter. These two types of DNA adducts induce different mutational signatures and spectra. We found that acrolein inhibits nucleotide excision and base excision repair and induces repair protein degradation in urothelial cells. Since acrolein is abundant in TS, inhaled acrolein is excreted into urine and accumulates in the bladder and because acrolein inhibits DNA repair and acrolein-dG DNA adducts are mutagenic, we propose that acrolein is a major bladder carcinogen in TS.
Continuous exposure to natural and man-made chemicals is a major cause of noncommunicable human diseases, including cancer. Accumulated data indicate that an exposure to chemical carcinogens induces a range of genetic and epigenetic events, including alterations in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation pattern, which may be associated with cancer development and progression. Accumulated evidence indicates that the response of the DNA methylome to chemical carcinogens, especially lifestyle and food carcinogens, is critical in the carcinogenic process. The better understanding of mechanisms and processes associated with carcinogen-induced DNA methylation abnormalities may be helpful for carcinogen hazard identification, carcinogen risk assessment and management, and the prevention of cancer. Key Concepts: Exposure to natural and man-made chemicals is a major cause of human cancer. Chemical carcinogens induce a range of genetic and epigenetic events, including alterations in the DNA methylation pattern. Alteration of the DNA methylation status is one of the underlying mechanisms of the carcinogenicity of a number of established environmental and occupational carcinogenic agents. Carcinogen-induced DNA methylation changes consist of DNA and repetitive element demethylation, gene-specific hypermethylation and gene silencing, gene-specific hypomethylation and activation of gene transcription and altered expression or activity of DNA methyltransferases. Epigenetic alterations may be used as biomarkers in the evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of chemicals. The incorporation of epigenetic technologies in cancer risk assessment promises to enhance substantially the efficiency of carcinogenicity testing. Keywords:chemical carcinogens;tobacco smoking;food carcinogens;DNA methylation;cancer development
The presence of furan in common cooked foods along with evidence from experimental studies that lifetime exposure to furan causes liver tumors in rats and mice has caused concern to regulatory public health agencies worldwide; however, the mechanisms of the furan-induced hepatocarcinogenicity remain unclear. The goal of the present study was to investigate whether or not long-term exposure to furan causes epigenetic alterations in rat liver. Treating of male Fisher 344 rats by gavage 5 days per week with 0, 0.92, 2.0, or 4.4 mg furan/kg body weight (bw)/day resulted in dose- and time-dependent epigenetic changes consisting of alterations in DNA methylation and histone lysine methylation and acetylation, altered expression of chromatin modifying genes, and gene-specific methylation. Specifically, exposure to furan at doses 0.92, 2.0, or 4.4 mg furan/kg bw/day caused global DNA demethylation after 360 days of treatment. There was also a sustained decrease in the levels of histone H3 lysine 9 and H4 lysine 20 trimethylation after 180 and 360 days of furan exposure, and a marked reduction of histone H3 lysine 9 and H3 lysine 56 acetylation after 360 days at 4.4 mg/kg bw/day. These histone modification changes were accompanied by a reduced expression of Suv39h1, Prdm2, and Suv4-20h2 histone methyltransferases and Ep300 and Kat2a histone acetyltransferases. Additionally, furan at 2.0 and 4.4 mg/kg bw/day induced hypermethylation-dependent down-regulation of the Rassf1a gene in the livers after 180 and 360 days. These findings indicate possible involvement of dose- and time-dependent epigenetic modifications in the furan hepatotoxicity and carcinogenicity.
Zidovudine (3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine; AZT) is the most widely used nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor for the treatment of AIDS patients and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1. Previously, we demonstrated that AZT had significantly greater growth inhibitory effects upon the human liver carcinoma cell line HepG2 as compared to the immortalized human liver cell line THLE2. We have now used gene expression profiling to determine the molecular pathways associated with toxicity in both cell lines. HepG2 cells were incubated with 0, 2, 20, or 100 μM AZT for 2 weeks; THLE2 cells were treated with 0, 50, 500, or 2,500 μM AZT, concentrations that were equi-toxic to those used in the HepG2 cells. After the treatment, total RNA was isolated and subjected to microarray analysis. Global analysis of gene expression, with a false discovery rate ≤0.01 and a fold change ≥1.5, indicated that 6- to 70-fold more genes were differentially expressed in a significant concentration-dependent manner in HepG2 cells when compared to THLE2 cells. Comparative analysis indicated that 7 % of these genes were common to both cell lines. Among the common differentially expressed genes, 70 % changed in the same direction, most of which were associated with cell death and survival, cell cycle, cell growth and proliferation, and DNA replication, recombination, and repair. As determined by the uptake of [methyl-(3)H]AZT, the intracellular levels of total AZT were approximately twofold higher in THLE2 cells than in HepG2 cells. The expression of thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 (UGT2B7) genes that regulate the metabolic activation and deactivation of AZT, respectively, was increased in HepG2 cells but decreased in THLE2 cells after treatment with AZT. This differential response in AZT metabolism was confirmed by real-time PCR, western blotting, and/or enzymatic assays. These data indicate that molecular pathways involved with cell death and survival, cell cycle, cell growth and proliferation, and DNA replication, recombination, and repair are involved in the toxicities associated with AZT in both human cell lines, and that the difference in expression of TK1 and UGT2B7 in response to AZT treatment in HepG2 cells and THLE2 cells might explain why HepG2 cells are more sensitive than THLE2 cells to the toxicity of AZT.
Acrylamide (AA) is a well-known industrial chemical classified as a probable human carcinogen. Benign and malignant tumours at different sites, including the mammary gland, have been reported in rodents exposed to AA. This xenobiotic is also formed in many carbohydrate-rich foods prepared at high temperatures. For this reason, AA is an issue of concern in terms of human cancer risk. The epoxide glycidamide (GA) is thought to be the ultimate genotoxic AA metabolite. Despite extensive experimental and epidemiological data focused on AA-induced breast cancer, there is still lack of information on the deleterious effects induced by GA in mammary cells. The work reported here addresses the characterisation and modulation of cytotoxicity, generation of reactive oxygen species, formation of micronuclei (MN) and quantification of specific GA-DNA adducts in human MCF10A epithelial cells exposed to GA. The results show that GA significantly induces MN, impairs cell proliferation kinetics and decreases cell viability at high concentrations by mechanisms not involving oxidative stress. KU55933, an inhibitor of ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase, enhanced the cytotoxicity of GA (P < 0.05), supporting a role of this enzyme in regulating the repair of GA-induced DNA lesions. Moreover, even at low GA levels, N7-GA-Gua adducts were generated in a linear dose-response manner in MCF10A cells. These results confirm that human mammary cells are susceptible to GA toxicity and reinforce the need for additional studies to clarify the potential correlation between dietary AA exposure and breast cancer risk in human populations.
Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor used for the treatment of AIDS and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1. Despite its therapeutic benefits, treatment with nevirapine has been associated with significant incidences of liver and dermal toxicity. The present study examined the effects of nevirapine on cell growth and death in human hepatocyte HepG2 cells and THLE2 cells and the possible pathways involved in these effects. The concentrations of nevirapine inhibiting 50% cell growth were similar for both cell lines. Nevirapine (0-250 µM) treatment caused a slight increase in the amount of lactate dehydrogenase released into the medium. Apoptotic cell death did not contribute to the decrease in viable cells. Exposing of HepG2 cells to nevirapine caused G2/M phase arrest, and the activity of senescence-associated β-galactosidase was not altered. In THLE2 cells, the percentage of cells in G1/G0 phase was increased and cellular senescence was induced in a concentration-dependent manner. Endogenous non-telomeric RT activity was not detected in either cell line. Western blot analysis indicated lower levels of p53 and phospho-p53 (ser15) in HepG2 cells as compared to THLE2 cells; no significant changes in p53 or phospho-p53 (ser15) were noted with nevirapine treatment. These data demonstrate that nevirapine inhibits cell growth, induces cell cycle arrest at different phases, and has different effects on cellular senescence in HepG2 cells and THLE2 cells. The differential responses appear to be related to differences in the basal levels of p53 in the HepG2 cells and THLE2 cells.
The development of resistance of cancer cells to therapeutic agents is the major obstacle in the succesful treatment of breast cancer and the main cause of breast cancer recurrence. The results of several studies have demonstrated an important role of altered cellular iron metabolism in the progression of breast cancer and suggested that iron metabolism may be involved in the acquisition of a cancer cell drug-resistant phenotype. In the present study, we show that human MCF-7 breast cancer cells with an acquired resistance to the chemotherapeutic drugs doxorubicin (MCF-7/DOX) and cisplatin (MCF-7/CDDP) exhibited substantial alterations in the intracellular iron content and levels of iron-regulatory proteins involved in the cellular uptake, storage and export of iron, especially in profoundly increased levels of ferritin light chain (FTL) protein. The increased levels of FTL in breast cancer indicate that FTL may be used as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for breast cancer. Additionally, we demonstrate that targeted downregulation of FTL protein by the microRNA miR-133a increases sensitivity of MCF-7/DOX and MCF-7/CDDP cells to doxorubicin and cisplatin. These results suggest that correction of iron metabolism abnormalities may substantially improve the efficiency of breast cancer treatment.
Nevirapine (NVP) is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) used against HIV-1. Currently, NVP is the most widely used anti-HIV drug in developing countries, both in combination therapy and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Despite its efficacy against HIV, NVP produces a variety of toxic responses, including hepatotoxicity and skin rash. It is also associated with increased incidences of hepatoneoplasias in rodents. In addition, epidemiological data suggest that NNRTI use is a risk factor for non-AIDS-defining cancers in HIV-positive patients. Current evidence supports the involvement of metabolic activation to reactive electrophiles in NVP toxicity. NVP metabolism includes oxidation to 12-hydroxy-NVP; subsequent Phase II sulfonation produces an electrophilic metabolite, 12-sulfoxy-NVP, capable of reacting with DNA to yield covalent adducts. Since 2'-deoxythymidine (dT) adducts from several alkylating agents are regarded as having significant mutagenic/carcinogenic potential, we investigated the formation of NVP-dT adducts under biomimetic conditions. Toward this goal, we initially prepared and characterized synthetic NVP-dT adduct standards using a palladium-mediated Buchwald-Hartwig coupling strategy. The synthetic standards enabled the identification, by LC-ESI-MS, of 12-(2'-deoxythymidin-N3-yl)-nevirapine (N3-NVP-dT) in the enzymatic hydrolysate of salmon testis DNA reacted with 12-mesyloxy-NVP, a synthetic surrogate for 12-sulfoxy-NVP. N3-NVP-dT, a potentially cytotoxic and mutagenic DNA lesion, was also the only dT-specific adduct detected upon reaction of dT with 12-mesyloxy-NVP. Our data suggest that N3-NVP-dT may be formed in vivo and play a role in the hepatotoxicity and/or putative hepatocarcinogenicity of NVP.
Introduction: The pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is complex, and the underlying molecular mechanisms are only partially understood. Areas covered: This review summarizes current knowledge of the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion genes in the pathogenesis of diabetes and NAFLD. The literature search was performed using the PubMed database (up to February 2013). Expert opinion: miRNAs play a fundamental role in diabetes and NAFLD. This review focuses on the dysregulation of miRNAs involved in the regulation of drug metabolism and disposition in the pathogenesis of these metabolic syndromes. The evidence presented indicates that better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with dysregulation of miRNAs controlling the cellular drug metabolizing system is of great importance not only from a scientific, but also from a clinical perspective. More importantly, an association between these metabolic disorders and miRNA dysregulation suggests that correcting miRNA expression by either their up-regulation or inhibition holds a promise for treating these metabolic syndrome and alleviating disease progression.
The reversibility of non-genotoxic phenotypic alterations has been explored in order to develop novel preventive and therapeutic approaches for cancer control. Previously, it has been demonstrated that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor tributyrin, a butyric acid prodrug, to have chemopreventive effects on rat hepatocarcinogenesis. The goal of the present study was to determine molecular mechanisms associated with the chemopreventive activity of tributyrin. Male Wistar rats were allocated randomly to untreated control group and two experimental groups. Rats in the experimental group 1 were treated with maltodextrin (3 g/kg body weight), and rats in experimental group 2 were treated with tributyrin (2 g/kg body weight) daily for eight weeks. Two weeks after treatment initiation, rats from experimental groups were subjected to a "resistant hepatocyte" model of hepatocarcinogenesis. Treatment with tributyrin resulted in lower HDAC activity and Hdac3 and Hdac4 gene expression, and an increase of histone H3 lysine 9 and 18 and histone H4 lysine 16 acetylation as compared to the experimental group 1. In addition to the increase in histone acetylation, tributyrin caused an increase in the acetylation of the nuclear p53 protein. These changes were accompanied by a normalization of the p53 signaling network, particularly by the up-regulation of pro-apoptotic genes, and a consequent increase of apoptosis and autophagy in the livers of tributyrin-treated rats. These results indicate that the chemopreventive activity of tributyrin may be related to an increase of histone and p53 acetylation, which could lead to the induction of the p53 apoptotic pathway.
Carcinogenesis is a multistep sequential process of clonal expansion of initiated cells associated with the accumulation of multiple cancer-specific heritable phenotypes. The acquisition of these heritable cancer-specific alterations may be triggered by mutational and/or non-mutational changes in the genome that affect the regulation of gene expression. Currently, cancer-specific epigenetically mediated changes in gene expression are regarded as driving events in tumorigenesis. In the present study, we investigated the role of gene-specific expression changes in the mechanism of rat hepatocarcinogenesis induced by the complete hepatocarcinogen 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF). The results of the present study demonstrate significant alterations in gene expression, especially of Mat1a and Mthfr genes, during early stages of rat 2-AAF-induced liver carcinogenesis. Both of these genes were downregulated in the livers of 2-AAF-treated male rats. Inhibition of Mat1a expression was associated with an increase in histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation and a decrease in histone H3 lysine 18 acetylation at the gene promoter/first exon region. Additionally, we demonstrate for the first time a critical contribution of miR-22 and miR-29b microRNAs in the inhibition of Mat1a and Mthfr gene expression during 2-AAF-induced rat hepatocarcinogenesis. The downregulation of Mat1a and Mthfr genes was accompanied by marked functional alterations in one-carbon metabolism. The results of the present study suggest that downregulation of the Mat1a and Mthfr genes may be one of the main driver events that promote liver carcinogenesis by causing a profound accumulation of subsequent epigenetic abnormalities during progression of the carcinogenic process. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Iron plays a vital role in the normal functioning of cells via the regulation of essential cellular metabolic reactions, including several DNA and histone-modifying proteins. The metabolic status of iron and the regulation of epige-netic mechanisms are well-balanced and tightly controlled in normal cells; however, in cancer cells these processes are profoundly disturbed. Cancer-related abnormalities in iron metabolism have been corrected through the use of iron-chelating agents, which cause an inhibition of DNA synthesis, G1-S phase arrest, an inhibition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and the activation of apoptosis. In the present study, we show that, in addition to these well-studied molecular mechanisms, the treatment of wild-type TP53 MCF-7 and mutant TP53 MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells with desferrioxamine (DFO), a model iron chelator, causes significant epigenetic alterations at the global and gene-specific levels. Specifically, DFO treatment decreased the protein levels of the histone H3 lysine 9 demethylase, Jumonji domain-containing protein 2A (JMJD2A), in the MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells and down-regulated the levels of the histone H3 lysine 4 demethylase, lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), in the MDA-MB-231 cells. These changes were accompanied by alterations in corresponding metabolically sensitive histone marks. Additionally, we demonstrate that DFO treatment activates apoptotic programs in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells and enhances their sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agents, doxorubicin and cisplatin; however, the mechanisms underlying this activation differ. The induction of apoptosis in wild-type TP53 MCF-7 cells was p53-dependent, triggered mainly by the down-regulation of the JMJD2A histone demethylase, while in mutant TP53 MDA-MB-231 cells, the activation of the p53-independent apoptotic program was driven predominantly by the epigenetic up-regulation of p21.
The nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor zidovudine (3'-azido-3'-dexoythymidine, AZT) can be incorporated into DNA and cause DNA damage. Previously, we determined that the human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells are more susceptible to AZT-induced toxicities than the immortalized normal human liver THLE2 cells and the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway plays an essential role in the response to AZT-induced DNA damage. We have now investigated if the effects of AZT treatment on the expression levels of genes related to DNA damage and repair pathways contribute to the differences in sensitivity to AZT treatment between HepG2 cells and THLE2 cells. Of total 84 genes related to DNA damage and repair, two, five, and six genes were up-regulated more than 1.5-fold at 50, 500, and 2,500 µM AZT groups compared with that of control THLE2 cells. Seven genes showed a decreased expression of more than 1.5-fold following the 2,500 µM AZT treatment. Two-sided multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the change in expression of genes involved in apoptosis, cell cycle, and DNA repair pathways was significant only at 2,500 µM AZT. Statistically significant dose-related increases were identified in XPC gene expression and GTF2H1 protein level after the AZT treatments, which implicated the NER pathway in response to the DNA damage induced by AZT. In contrast, AZT treatment did not alter significantly the expression of the APE1 gene or the levels of APE1 protein. These results indicate that the NER repair pathway is involved in AZT-induced DNA damage response in immortalized human hepatic THLE2 cells.
Dysregulation of one-carbon metabolism-related metabolic processes is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is well established that genetic and gender-specific variations in one-carbon metabolism contribute to the vulnerability to NAFLD in humans. To examine the role of one-carbon metabolism dysregulation in the pathogenesis and individual susceptibility to NAFLD, we used a "population-based" mouse model where male mice from 7 inbred were fed a choline- and folate-deficient (CFD) diet for 12 wk. Strain-dependent down-regulation of several key one-carbon metabolism genes, including methionine adenosyltransferase 1α (Mat1a), cystathionine-β-synthase (Cbs), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (Mthfr), adenosyl-homocysteinase (Ahcy), and methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 (Mthfd1), was observed. These changes were strongly associated with interstrain variability in liver injury (steatosis, necrosis, inflammation, and activation of fibrogenesis) and hyperhomocysteinemia. Mechanistically, the decreased expression of Mat1a, Ahcy, and Mthfd1 was linked to a reduced level and promoter binding of transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (CEBPβ), which directly regulates their transcription. The strain specificity of diet-induced dysregulation of one-carbon metabolism suggests that interstrain variation in the regulation of one-carbon metabolism may contribute to the differential vulnerability to NFLD and that correcting the imbalance may be considered as preventive and treatment strategies for NAFLD.-Pogribny, I. P., Kutanzi, K., Melnyk, S., de Conti, A., Tryndyak, V., Montgomery, B., Pogribna, M., Muskhelishvili, L., Latendresse, J. R., James, S. J., Beland, F. A., Rusyn, I. Strain-dependent dysregulation of one-carbon metabolism in male mice is associated with choline- and folate-deficient diet-induced liver injury.
Nevirapine (NVP) is an anti-HIV drug associated with severe hepatotoxicity and skin rashes, which raises concerns about its chronic administration. There is increasing evidence that metabolic activation to reactive electrophiles capable of reacting with bionucleophiles is likely to be involved in the initiation of these toxic responses. Phase I NVP metabolism involves oxidation of the 4-methyl substituent and the formation of phenolic derivatives that are conceivably capable of undergoing further metabolic oxidation to electrophilic quinoid species prone to react with bionucleophiles. The covalent adducts thus formed might be at the genesis of toxic responses. As part of a program aimed at evaluating the possible contribution of quinoid derivatives of Phase I phenolic NVP metabolites to the toxic responses elicited by the parent drug, we have investigated the oxidation of 2-hydroxy-NVP with dipotassium nitroso-disulfonate (Frémy's salt), mimicking the one-electron oxidation involved in enzyme-mediated metabolic oxidations. We report herein the isolation and full structural characterization of a 1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione derivative as a major product, stemming from an unusual pyridine ring contraction.
Acrylamide is a high-volume industrial chemical, a component of cigarette smoke, and a product formed in certain foods prepared at high temperatures. Previously, we compared the extent of DNA adduct formation and mutations in B6C3F(1) /Tk mice treated neonatally with acrylamide or glycidamide to obtain information concerning the mechanism of acrylamide genotoxicity. We have now examined the tumorigenicity of acrylamide and glycidamide in mice treated neonatally. Male B6C3F(1) mice were injected intraperitoneally on postnatal days 1, 8 and 15 with 0.0, 0.14 or 0.70 mmol acrylamide or glycidamide per kg body weight per day and the tumorigenicity was assessed after 1 year. Survival in each of the groups was >87%, there were no differences in body weights among the groups, and the only treatment-related neoplasms involved the liver. The incidence of combined hepatocellular adenoma or carcinoma was 3.8% in the control group, 8.3% in the 0.14 mmol acrylamide and glycidamide per kg body weight groups, 4.2% in the 0.70 mmol acrylamide per kg body weight group and 71.4% in the 0.70 mmol glycidamide per kg body weight group. Analysis of the hepatocellular tumors indicated that the increased incidence observed in mice administered 0.70 mmol glycidamide per kg body weight was associated with A → G and A → T mutations at codon 61 of H-ras. These results, combined with our previous data on DNA adduct formation and mutation induction, suggest that the carcinogenicity of acrylamide is dependent on its metabolism to glycidamide, a pathway that is deficient in neonatal mice.
The interplay of metabolism and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms has become a focal point for a better understanding of cancer development and progression. In this study, we have acquired data supporting previous observations that demonstrate glutamine metabolism affects histone modifications in human breast cancer cell lines. Treatment of non-invasive epithelial (T-47D and MDA-MB-361) and invasive mesenchymal (MDA-MB-231 and Hs-578T) breast cancer cell lines with the glutaminase inhibitor, Compound 968, resulted in cytotoxicity in all cell lines, with the greatest effect being observed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Compound 968-treatment induced significant downregulation of 20 critical cancer-related genes, the majority of which are anti-apoptotic and/or promote metastasis, including AKT, BCL2, BCL2L1, CCND1, CDKN3, ERBB2, ETS1, E2F1, JUN, KITLG, MYB, and MYC. Histone H3K4me3, a mark of transcriptional activation, was reduced at the promoters of all but one of these critical cancer genes. The decrease in histone H3K4me3 at global and gene-specific levels correlated with reduced expression of SETD1 and ASH2L, genes encoding the histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex. Further, the expression of other epigenetic regulatory genes, known to be downregulated during apoptosis (e.g., DNMT1, DNMT3B, SETD1 and SIRT1), was also downregulated by Compound 968. These changes in gene expression and histone modifications were accompanied by the activation of apoptosis, and decreased invasiveness and resistance of MDA-MB-231 cells to chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. The results of this study provide evidence to a link between cytotoxicity caused by inhibiting glutamine metabolism with alterations of the epigenome of breast cancer cells and suggest that modification of intracellular metabolism may enhance the efficiency of epigenetic therapy.
Acrylamide is a component of roasted coffee and certain baked and fried carbohydrate-rich foods prepared at high temperatures. We have assessed the carcinogenicity of acrylamide in male and female B6C3F(1) mice and F344/N rats administered 0, 0.0875, 0.175, 0.35, or 0.70mM acrylamide in the drinking water ad libitum for 2 years. Acrylamide caused significant dose-related decreasing trends in the body weights of F344/N rats. Acrylamide administration resulted in significant dose-related decreasing trends in survival in both sexes of B6C3F(1) mice and in female F344/N rats. Histopathological analyses indicated significant dose-related increases in Harderian gland and lung tumors in male and female B6C3F(1) mice. Male B6C3F(1) mice also had a significantly increased incidence of forestomach tumors, while female B6C3F(1) mice had significant dose-related increases in mammary gland, ovary, and skin tumors. In male and female F344/N rats, there were significant increases in thyroid tumors. Male F344/N rats also had significant dose-related increases in testes, heart, and pancreas tumors, while female F344 rats demonstrated significant increases in clitoral gland, mammary gland, oral cavity, and skin tumors. These results, combined with previous mechanistic studies, provide strong support for the concept that acrylamide is activated to a carcinogen through metabolism to glycidamide.
Carcinogenesis, a complex multifactorial process of the transformation of normal cells into malignant cells, is characterized by many biologically significant and interdependent alterations triggered by the mutational and/or non-mutational (i.e., epigenetic) events. One of these events, specific to all types of cancer, is alterations in DNA methylation. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the role of DNA methylation changes induced by various genotoxic chemicals (carcinogenic agents that interact with DNA) and non-genotoxic carcinogens (chemicals causing tumor by mechanisms other than directly damaging DNA) in the lung, colorectal, liver, and hematologic carcinogenesis. It also emphasizes the potential role for epigenetic changes to serve as markers for carcinogen exposure and carcinogen risk assessment.
Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) is an herbal remedy promoted to treat a variety of illnesses; however, only limited data are available on the safety of this dietary supplement. Drinking water exposure of F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice to an Aloe vera whole leaf extract (1%, 2%, and 3%) for 13 weeks resulted in goblet cell hyperplasia of the large intestine in both species. Based upon this observation, two-year drinking water studies were conducted to assess the carcinogenic potential of an Aloe vera whole leaf extract when administered to F344/N rats (48/sex/group) at 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5%, and B6C3F1 mice (48/sex/group) at 1%, 2%, and 3%. Compared to controls, survival was decreased in the 1.5% dose group of female rats. Treatment-related neoplasms and non-neoplastic lesions in both species were confined primarily to the large intestine. Incidences of adenomas and/or carcinomas of the ileo-cecal and cecal-colic junction, cecum, and the ascending and transverse colon were significantly higher than controls in male and female rats in the 1% and 1.5% dose groups. There were no neoplasms of the large intestine of mice or in the 0% or 0.5% dose groups of rats. Increased incidences of mucosa hyperplasia of the large intestine were observed in F344/N rats, and increased incidences of goblet cell hyperplasia of the large intestine occurred in B6C3F1 mice. These results indicate that Aloe vera whole leaf extract is an intestinal irritant in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice and a carcinogen of the large intestine in F344/N rats.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and developed countries. In humans, genetic factors greatly influence individual susceptibility to NAFLD. The goals of this study were to compare the magnitude of interindividual differences in the severity of liver injury induced by methyl-donor deficiency among individual inbred strains of mice and to investigate the underlying mechanisms associated with the variability. Feeding mice a choline- and folate-deficient diet for 12 wk caused liver injury similar to NAFLD. The magnitude of liver injury varied among the strains, with the order of sensitivity being A/J ≈ C57BL/6J ≈ C3H/HeJ < 129S1/SvImJ ≈ CAST/EiJ < PWK/PhJ < WSB/EiJ. The interstrain variability in severity of NAFLD liver damage was associated with dysregulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism, primarily with a down-regulation of the peroxisome proliferator receptor α (PPARα)-regulated lipid catabolic pathway genes. Markers of oxidative stress and oxidative stress-induced DNA damage were also elevated in the livers but were not correlated with severity of liver damage. These findings suggest that the PPARα-regulated metabolism network is one of the key mechanisms determining interstrain susceptibility and severity of NAFLD in mice.- Tryndyak, V., de Conti, A., Kobets, T., Kutanzi, K., Koturbash, I., Han, T., Fuscoe, J. C., Latendresse, J. R., Melnyk, S., Shymonyak, S., Collins, L., Ross, S. A., Rusyn, I., Beland, F. A., Pogribny, I. P. Interstrain differences in the severity of liver injury induced by a choline- and folate-deficient diet in mice are associated with dysregulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism.
We have evaluated DNA damage (DNA adduct formation) after feeding benzo[a]pyrene (BP) to wild-type (WT) and cancer-susceptible Xpa(−/−)p53(+/−) mice deficient in nucleotide excision repair and haploinsufficient for the tumor suppressor p53. DNA damage was evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ES-MS/MS), which measures r7,t8,t9-trihydroxy-c-10-(N 2-deoxyguanosyl)-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene (BPdG), and a chemiluminescence immunoassay (CIA), using anti-r7,t8-dihydroxy-t-9,10-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene (BPDE)–DNA antiserum, which measures both BPdG and the other stable BP-DNA adducts. When mice were fed 100 ppm BP for 28 days, BP-induced DNA damage measured in esophagus, liver and lung was typically higher in Xpa(−/−)p53(+/−) mice, compared with WT mice. This result is consistent with the previously observed tumor susceptibility of Xpa(−/−)p53(+/−) mice. BPdG, the major DNA adduct associated with tumorigenicity, was the primary DNA adduct formed in esophagus (a target tissue in the mouse), whereas total BP-DNA adducts predominated in higher levels in the liver (a non-target tissue in the mouse). In an attempt to lower BP-induced DNA damage, we fed the WT and Xpa(−/−)p53(+/−) mice 0.3% chlorophyllin (CHL) in the BP-containing diet for 28 days. The addition of CHL resulted in an increase of BP–DNA adducts in esophagus, liver and lung of WT mice, a lowering of BPdG in esophagi of WT mice and livers of Xpa(−/−)p53(+/−) mice and an increase of BPdG in livers of WT mice. Therefore, the addition of CHL to a BP-containing diet showed a lack of consistent chemoprotective effect, indicating that oral CHL administration may not reduce PAH–DNA adduct levels consistently in human organs.
The Liver Toxicity Biomarker Study is a systems toxicology approach to discover biomarkers that are indicative of a drug's potential to cause human idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury. In phase I, the molecular effects in rat liver and blood plasma induced by tolcapone (a "toxic" drug) were compared with the molecular effects in the same tissues by dosing with entacapone (a "clean" drug, similar to tolcapone in chemical structure and primary pharmacological mechanism). Two durations of drug exposure, 3 and 28 days, were employed. Comprehensive molecular analysis of rat liver and plasma samples yielded marker analytes for various drug-vehicle or drug-drug comparisons. An important finding was that the marker analytes associated with tolcapone only partially overlapped with marker analytes associated with entacapone, despite the fact that both drugs have similar chemical structures and the same primary pharmacological mechanism of action. This result indicates that the molecular analyses employed in the study are detecting substantial "off-target" markers for the two drugs. An additional interesting finding was the modest overlap of the marker data sets for 3-day exposure and 28-day exposure, indicating that the molecular changes in liver and plasma caused by short- and long-term drug treatments do not share common characteristics.
The adulteration of pet food with melamine and derivatives, including cyanuric acid, has been implicated in the kidney failure and death of cats and dogs in the USA and other countries. In a previous 7-day dietary study in F344 rats, we established a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for a co-exposure to melamine and cyanuric acid of 8.6 mg/kg bw/day of each compound, and a benchmark dose lower confidence limit (BMDL) of 8.4-10.9 mg/kg bw/day of each compound. To ascertain the role played by the duration of exposure, we treated F344 rats for 28 days. Groups of male and female rats were fed diet containing 0 (control), 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, or 360 ppm of both melamine and cyanuric acid. The lowest dose that produced histopathological alterations in the kidney was 120 ppm, versus 229 ppm in the 7-day study. Wet-mount analysis of kidney sections demonstrated the formation of melamine cyanurate spherulites in one male and two female rats at the 60 ppm dose and in one female rat at the 30 ppm dose, establishing a NOAEL of 2.1mg/kg bw/day for males and <2.6 mg/kg bw/day for females, and BMDL values as low as 1.6 mg/kg bw/day for both sexes. These data demonstrate that the length of exposure is an important component in the threshold of toxicity from a co-exposure to these compounds and suggest that the current risk assessments based on exposures to melamine alone may not reflect sufficiently the risk of a co-exposure to melamine and cyanuric acid.

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Top co-authors (50)

Igor Pogribny
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
M. Matilde Marques
  • University of Lisbon
jia-long Fang
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Volodymyr Tryndyak