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Issue 11, 2012
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Environmental arsenic exposure and DNA methylation of the tumor suppressor gene p16 and the DNA repair gene MLH1: effect of arsenic metabolism and genotype

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Abstract

Arsenic is carcinogenic, possibly partly through epigenetic mechanisms. We evaluated the effects of arsenic exposure and metabolism on DNA methylation. Arsenic exposure and methylation efficiency in 202 women in the Argentinean Andes were assessed from concentrations of arsenic metabolites in urine (inorganic arsenic, methylarsonic acid [MMA], and dimethylarsinic acid [DMA]), measured by HPLC-ICPMS. Methylation of CpGs of the tumor suppressor gene p16, the DNA repair gene MLH1, and the repetitive elements LINE1 was measured by PCR pyrosequencing of blood DNA. Genotyping (N = 172) for AS3MT was performed using Sequenom™, and gene expression (N = 90) using Illumina DirectHyb HumanHT-12 v3.0. Median arsenic concentration in urine was 230 μg L−1 (range 10.1–1251). In linear regression analysis, log2-transformed urinary arsenic concentrations were positively associated with methylation of p16 (β = 0.14, P = 0.0028) and MLH1 (β = 0.28, P = 0.0011), but not with LINE1. Arsenic concentrations were of borderline significance negatively correlated with expression of p16 (rs = −0.20; P = 0.066)), but not with MLH1. The fraction of inorganic arsenic was positively (β = 0.026; P = 0.010) and DMA was negatively (β = −0.017, P = 0.043) associated with p16 methylation with no effect of MMA. Carriers of the slow-metabolizing AS3MT haplotype were associated with more p16 methylation (P = 0.022). Arsenic exposure was correlated with increased methylation, in blood, of genes encoding enzymes that suppress carcinogenesis, and the arsenic metabolism efficiency modified the degree of epigenetic alterations.

Graphical abstract: Environmental arsenic exposure and DNA methylation of the tumor suppressor gene p16 and the DNA repair gene MLH1: effect of arsenic metabolism and genotype

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The article was received on 19 Jun 2012, accepted on 24 Sep 2012 and first published on 25 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2MT20120H
Citation: Metallomics, 2012,4, 1167-1175
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    Environmental arsenic exposure and DNA methylation of the tumor suppressor gene p16 and the DNA repair gene MLH1: effect of arsenic metabolism and genotype

    M. B. Hossain, M. Vahter, G. Concha and K. Broberg, Metallomics, 2012, 4, 1167
    DOI: 10.1039/C2MT20120H

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