Ambient PM exposure and DNA methylation in tumor suppressor genes: A cross-sectional study

Lifang Hou*, Xiao Zhang, Letizia Tarantini, Francesco Nordio, Matteo Bonzini, Laura Angelici, Barbara Marinelli, Giovanna Rizzo, Laura Cantone, Pietro Apostoli, Pier A. Bertazzi, Andrea Baccarelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to ambient air particles matter (PM) has been associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Aberrant tumor suppressor gene promoter methylation has emerged as a promising biomarker for cancers, including lung cancer. Whether exposure to PM is associated with peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) DNA methylation in tumor suppressor genes has not been evaluated. In 63 male healthy steel workers with well-characterized exposure to metal-rich particles nearby Brescia, Italy, we evaluated whether exposure to PM and metal components was associated with PBL DNA methylation in 4 tumor suppressor genes (i.e., APC, p16, p53 and RASSF1A). Blood samples were obtained on the 1st (baseline) and 4th day (post-exposure) of the same work week and DNA methylation was measured using pyrosequencing. A linear mixed model was used to examine the correlations of the exposure with promoter methylation levels. Mean promoter DNA methylation levels of APC or p16 were significantly higher in post-exposure samples compared to that in baseline samples (p-values = 0.005 for APC, and p-value = 0.006 for p16). By contrast, the mean levels of p53 or RASSF1A promoter methylation was decreased in post-exposure samples compared to that in baseline samples (p-value = 0.015 for p53; and p-value < 0.001 for RASSF1A). In post-exposure samples, APC methylation was positively associated with PM10 (β = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.13-0.40), and PM1 (β = 0.23, 95% CI: 0.09-0.38). In summary, ambient PM exposure was associated with PBL DNA methylation levels of tumor suppressor genes of APC, p16, p53 and RASSF1A, suggesting that such methylation alterations may reflect processes related to PM-induced lung carcinogenesis

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174325
JournalParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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