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Identification of a unique gene expression signature in mercury and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin co-exposed cells

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Abstract

Mercury (Hg) and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) are major environmental contaminants that commonly co-occur in the environment. Both Hg and TCDD are associated with a number of human diseases including cancers. While the individual toxicological effects of Hg and TCDD have been extensively investigated, studies on co-exposure are limited to a few genes and pathways. Therefore, a significant knowledge gap exists in the understanding of the deleterious effects of co-exposure to Hg and TCDD. Due to the prevalence of Hg and TCDD co-contamination in the environment and the major human health hazards they pose, it is important to obtain a fuller understanding of genome-wide effects of Hg and TCDD co-exposure. In this study, by performing a comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) exposed to Hg and TCDD individually and in combination, we have uncovered a subset of genes with altered expression only in the co-exposed cells. We also identified the additive as well as antagonistic effects of Hg and TCDD on gene expression. Moreover, we found that co-exposure impacted several biological and disease processes not affected by Hg or TCDD individually. Our studies show that the consequences of Hg and TCDD co-exposure on the transcriptional program and biological processes could be substantially different from single exposures, thus providing new insights into the co-exposure-specific pathogenic processes.

Graphical abstract: Identification of a unique gene expression signature in mercury and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin co-exposed cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Nov 2016, accepted on 09 Feb 2017, published on 10 Feb 2017 and first published online on 10 Feb 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6TX00432F
Citation: Toxicol. Res., 2017, Advance Article
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    Identification of a unique gene expression signature in mercury and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin co-exposed cells

    L. Jagannathan, C. C. Jose, V. S. Tanwar, S. Bhattacharya and S. Cuddapah, Toxicol. Res., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C6TX00432F

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