Issue 11, 2011

Genetic and epigenetic effects of environmental arsenicals


Environmental arsenic compounds and their methylated metabolites do not form adducts with DNA, but do cause oxidative DNA damage. Chromosome aberrations are seen at toxic concentrations. Genetic effects that occur at non-toxic concentrations include aneuploidy, comutagenesis (resulting from indirect effects on DNA repair), and delayed mutagenesis (probably secondary to aneuploidy and/or epigenetic effects). Effects of trivalent arsenicals on poly(ADP ribose) polymerase and P53 activation may mediate effects on DNA repair and aneuploidy. A growing literature points to the epigenetic effects of arsenic compounds in cells and in vivo. A review of the current literature on DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNA effects is presented.

Graphical abstract: Genetic and epigenetic effects of environmental arsenicals

Article information

Article type
22 Jun 2011
09 Aug 2011
First published
05 Oct 2011

Metallomics, 2011,3, 1135-1141