Lung cancer is primarily caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke contains numerous carcinogens, including Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). The most common PAH studied is benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). B[a]P is metabolically activated through multiple routes, one of which is catalyzed by aldo-keto reductase (AKR) to B[a]P-7,8-dione (BPQ). BPQ undergoes a futile redox cycle in the presence of NADPH to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS, in turn, damages DNA. Studies with a yeast p53 mutagenesis system found that the generation of ROS by PAH o-quinones may contribute to lung carcinogenesis because of similarities between the patterns (types of mutations) and spectra (location of mutations) and those seen in lung cancer. The patterns were dominated by G to T transversions, and the spectra in the experimental system have mutations at lung cancer hotspots. To address repair mechanisms that are responsible for BPQ induced damage we observed the effect of mutating two DNA repair genes OGG1 and APE1 (APN1 in yeast) and tested them in a yeast reporter system for p53 mutagenesis. There was an increase in both the mutant frequency and the number of G:C/T:A transversions in p53 treated with BPQ in ogg1 yeast but not in apn1 yeast. Knocking out APN2 increased mutagenesis in the apn1 cells. In addition, we did not find a strand bias on p53 treated with BPQ in ogg1 yeast. These studies suggest that Ogg1 is involved in repairing the oxidative damage caused by BPQ, Apn1 and Apn2 have redundant functions and that the stand bias seen in lung cancer may not be due to impaired repair of oxidative lesions.
PAH metabolism; Base excision repair; OGG1; APN1; APN2; Lung cancer
Radiation treatment or chemotherapy has been linked with a higher risk of secondary cancers such as therapy related Acute Myeloid Leukemia (tAML). Several of these cancers have been shown to be correlated to the introduction of double stranded breaks (DSB) and rearrangements within the Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) gene. We used Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) to introduce precise cuts within MLL to examine how a single DNA DSB might lead to chromosomal rearrangements. A ZFN targeting exon 13 within the breakpoint cluster region of MLL was transiently expressed in a human lymphoblast cell line originating from a CML patient. Although FISH analysis showed ZFN DSB at this region increased the rate of MLL fragmentation, we were unable to detect leukemogenic rearrangements or translocations via inverse PCR. Interestingly, gene fragmentation as well as small interstitial deletions, insertions and base substitutions increased with the inhibition of DNA-PK, suggesting repair of this particular DSB is linked to non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Although mis-repair of DSBs may be necessary for the initiation of leukemogenic translocations, a MLL targeted DNA break alone is insufficient.
To maintain the integrity of the organism, embryonic stem cells (ESC) need to maintain their genomic integrity in response to DNA damage. DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are one of the most lethal forms of DNA damage and can have disastrous consequences if not repaired correctly, leading to cell death, genomic instability and cancer. How human ESC (hESC) maintain genomic integrity in response to agents that cause DSBs is relatively unclear. Adult somatic cells can be induced to “dedifferentiate” into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and reprogram into cells of all three germ layers. Whether iPSC have reprogrammed the DNA damage response is a critical question in regenerative medicine. Here, we show that hESC demonstrate high levels of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can contribute to DNA damage and may arise from high levels of metabolic activity. To potentially counter genomic instability caused by DNA damage, we find that hESC employ two strategies: First, these cells have enhanced levels of DNA repair proteins, including those involved in repair of DSBs, and they demonstrate elevated nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) activity and repair efficacy, one of the main pathways for repairing DSBs. Second, they are hypersensitive to DNA damaging agents, as evidenced by a high level of apoptosis upon irradiation. Importantly, iPSC, unlike the parent cells they are derived from, mimic hESC in their ROS levels, cell cycle profiles, repair protein expression and NHEJ repair efficacy, indicating reprogramming of the DNA repair pathways. Human iPSC however show a partial apoptotic response to irradiation, compared to hESC. We suggest that DNA damage responses may constitute important markers for the efficacy of iPSC reprogramming.
DNA damage; DNA double strand break repair; Nonhomologous end-joining; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Human embryonic stem cells
Differentiation among American cigarettes relies primarily on the use of proprietary tobacco blends, menthol, tobacco substitutes, paper porosity, paper additives, and filter ventilation. These characteristics substantially alter per cigarette yields of tar and nicotine in standardized protocols promulgated by government agencies. However, due to compensatory alterations in smoking behavior to sustain a preferred nicotine dose (e.g., by increasing puff frequency, inhaling more deeply, smoking more cigarettes per day, or blocking filter ventilation holes), smokers actually inhale similar amounts of tar and nicotine regardless of any cigarette variable, supporting epidemiological evidence that all brands have comparable disease risk. Consequently, itwould be advantageous to develop assays that realistically compare cigarette smoke (CS)-induced genotoxicity regardless of differences in cigarette construction or smoking behavior. One significant indicator of potentially carcinogenicDNA damage is double strand breaks (DSBs), which can be monitored by measuring Ser 139 phosphorylation on histone H2AX. Previouslywe showed that phosphorylation of H2AX (defined as γH2AX) in exposed lung cells is proportional to CS dose. Thus, we proposed that γH2AX may be a viable biomarker for evaluating genotoxic risk of cigarettes in relation to actual nicotine/tar delivery. Here we tested this hypothesis by measuring γH2AX levels in A549 human lung cells exposed to CS from a range of commercial cigarettes using various smoking regimens. Results show that γH2AX induction, a critical event of the mammalian DNA damage response, provides an assessment of CS-induced DNA damage independent of smoking topography or cigarette type. We conclude that γH2AX induction shows promise as a genotoxic bioassay offering specific advantages over the traditional assays for the evaluation of conventional and nonconventional tobacco products.
Tobacco smoke; H2AX; Double strand breaks; DNA damage
The frequency of spontaneously occurring micronuclei (MN) increases with age, with many of these MN containing sex chromatin. However, it is not known if this MN frequency increase is attributable to a higher number of the same cellular events that occur in younger people, or if a different sex chromosomal instability mechanism(s) arises with age. To gain insight regarding this question, the total number of signals present in MN and their corresponding binucleates, was scored in older (ages 40–80+ y.o.; n= 40) compared to younger (7–39 y.o.; n=19) individuals using probes specific for the X and Y chromosomes. In 19.9% of the cells scored at least one sex chromatin positive micronucleus was present. A significant decrease in cells having a “corrective” loss pattern (i.e. trisomy rescue, leading to euploid binucleates following sex chromatin exclusion into the MN) was observed with increasing age for the Y chromosome in males (p=0.022) and the X chromosome in females (p=0.004). In addition, a significant increase (p<0.001) in cells having multiple signals beyond those expected from a single cellular error was observed in the older compared to younger study participants, with these imbalances resulting from cells having either a single micronucleus with multiple signals, or cells having multiple MN. Collectively, these findings suggest that age-related increases in MN frequencies reflect both gains in the occurrence of similar cellular errors, as well as changes in the types of chromosomal findings that occur. Importantly, these results also illustrate that while MN frequencies reflect acquired abnormalities, they may also reflect cellular responses to “correct” an error, particularly when evaluated in young individuals. Therefore, when analyzing MN frequencies, one may also wish to evaluate the imbalances present in both the binucleates and MN to facilitate the recognition of varying cellular responses to environmental or genotoxic exposures.
Micronuclei; Spontaneous micronuclei; Acquired chromosomal abnormalities; Age-related chromosomal abnormalities; Mechanisms of micronuclei formation; Cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay
The photomutagenicity of the popular skin conditioning agents azulene and guaiazulene were tested in Salmonella typhimurium TA98, TA100 and TA102. Following irradiation with UVA and/or visible light, both azulene and guaiazulene exhibited mutagenicity 4–5-fold higher than the spontaneous background mutation. In contrary, naphthalene, a structural isomer of azulene, was not photomutagenic under the same conditions. Azulene was photomutagenic when irradiated with UVA light alone, visible light alone, or a combination of UVA and visible light. Azulene and guaiazulene are not mutagenic when the experiment is conducted with the exclusion of light. Therefore, extreme care must be taken when using cosmetic products with azulene/guaiazulene as ingredients since after applying these products on the skin, exposure to sunlight is inevitable.
Azulene; Guaiazulene; Photomutagenicity; Light irradiation; Ames test; TA102
This is a summary of the published literature on the urinary 2/16 estrogen metabolite ratio in human populations, and a report the observed range of normal values in healthy women. Original research studies that included the measurement of urinary estrogen metabolites in human subjects were identified through an extensive Medline search; 43 distinct studies were indentified, including a total of 6802 healthy women. The range of mean values of the 2/16 ratio measured with the ELISA method varied from 0.98 to 1.74; in studies of pre-menopausal women the range of mean values was 1.5 to 2.74, in studies of post-menopausal women mean values ranged from 1.15 to 2.25. The heterogeneity across studies was highly significant (p-value Q test: <0.0001). In multivariable analyses, only race confirmed its role as an independent predictor of 2/16 ratio (F value: 7.95; p value: 0.009), after adjustment for age and menopausal status. There appears to be a large body of data on the 2/16 urinary ratio in healthy women. However, summary estimates are difficult to perform due to the high variability of the published study-specific values. The data suggests that race may be a contributor to 2/16 urinary ratio levels.
N- (deoxyguanosin-8-yl)-1-aminopyrene (dGAP) is the predominant nitro polyaromatic hydrocarbon product generated from the air pollutant 1-nitropyrene reacting with DNA. Previous studies have shown that dGAP induces genetic mutations in bacterial and mammalian cells. One potential source of these mutations is the error-prone bypass of dGAP lesions catalyzed by the low-fidelity Y-family DNA polymerases. To provide a comparative analysis of the mutagenic potential of the translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) of dGAP, we employed short oligonucleotide sequencing assays (SOSAs) with the model Y-family DNA polymerase from Sulfolobus solfataricus, DNA Polymerase IV (Dpo4), and the human Y-family DNA polymerases eta (hPolη), kappa (hPolκ), and iota (hPolι). Relative to undamaged DNA, all four enzymes generated far more mutations (base deletions, insertions, and substitutions) with a DNA template containing a site-specifically placed dGAP. Opposite dGAP and at an immediate downstream template position, the most frequent mutations made by the three human enzymes were base deletions and the most frequent base substitutions were dAs for all enzymes. Based on the SOSA data, Dpo4 was the least error-prone Y-family DNA polymerase among the four enzymes during the TLS of dGAP. Among the three human Y-family enzymes, hPolκ made the fewest mutations at all template positions except opposite the lesion site. hPolκ was significantly less error-prone than hPolι and hPolη during the extension of dGAP bypass products. Interestingly, the most frequent mutations created by hPolι at all template positions were base deletions. Although hRev1, the fourth human Y-family enzyme, could not extend dGAP bypass products in our standing start assays, it preferentially incorporated dCTP opposite the bulky lesion. Collectively, these mutagenic profiles suggest that hPolkk and hRev1 are the most suitable human Y-family DNA polymerases to perform TLS of dGAP in humans.
SOSA; Y-family DNA polymerases; mutagenic analysis; translesion DNA synthesis; 1-nitropyrene
The use of gene expression profiling in both clinical and laboratory settings would be enhanced by better characterization of variation due to individual, environmental, and technical factors. Analysis of microarray data from untreated or vehicle-treated animals within the control arm of toxicogenomics studies has yielded useful information on baseline fluctuations in liver gene expression in the rodent. Here, studies which highlight contributions of different factors to gene expression variability in the rodent liver are discussed including a large meta-analysis of rat liver, which identified genes that vary in control animals in the absence of chemical treatment. Genes and their pathways that are the most and least variable were identified in a number of these studies. Life stage, fasting, sex, diet, circadian rhythm and liver lobe source can profoundly influence gene expression in the liver. Recognition of biological and technical factors that contribute to variability of background gene expression can help the investigator in the design of an experiment that maximizes sensitivity and reduces the influence of confounders that may lead to misinterpretation of genomic changes. The factors that contribute to variability in liver gene expression in rodents are likely analogous to those contributing to human interindividual variability in drug response and chemical toxicity. Identification of batteries of genes that are altered in a variety of background conditions could be used to predict responses to drugs and chemicals in appropriate models of the human liver.
toxicogenomics; baseline expression; microarray; fasting; sex; circadian rhythm; microbiota; life stage; diet
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short single-stranded non-coding molecules that function as negative regulators to silence or suppress gene expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been implicated in a several cellular processes and pathogenic pathways of a number of diseases. Evidence is rapidly growing that miRNA regulation of gene expression may be affected by environmental chemicals. These environmental exposures include those that have frequently been associated with chronic diseases, such as heavy metals, air pollution, bisphenol A, and cigarette smoking. In this article, we review the published data on miRNAs in relation to the exposure to several environmental chemicals, and discuss the potential mechanisms that may link environmental chemicals to miRNA alterations. We further discuss the challenges in environmental-miRNA research and possible future directions. The cumulating evidence linking miRNAs to environmental chemicals, coupled with the unique regulatory role of miRNAs in gene expression, makes miRNAs potential biomarkers for better understanding the mechanisms of environmental diseases.
MicroRNAs; Epigenetic; Environmental chemicals
Organisms are constantly exposed to various environmental insults which could adversely affect the stability of their genome. To protect their genomes against the harmful effect of these environmental insults, organisms have evolved highly diverse and efficient repair mechanisms. Defective DNA repair processes can lead to various kinds of chromosomal and developmental abnormalities. RecQ helicases are a family of evolutionarily conserved, DNA unwinding proteins which are actively engaged in various DNA metabolic processes, telomere maintenance and genome stability. Bacteria and lower eukaryotes, like yeast, have only one RecQ homolog, whereas higher eukaryotes including humans possess multiple RecQ helicases. These multiple RecQ helicases have redundant and/or non-redundant functions depending on the types of DNA damage and DNA repair pathways. Humans have five different RecQ helicases and defects in three of them cause autosomal recessive diseases leading to various kinds of cancer predisposition and/or aging phenotypes. Emerging evidence also suggests that the RecQ helicases have important roles in telomere maintenance. This review mainly focuses on recent knowledge about the roles of RecQ helicases in DNA double strand break repair and telomere maintenance which are important in preserving genome integrity.
RecQ helicases; DNA double strand break repair; Werner syndrome; Bloom syndrome; Rothmund Thomson syndrome; telomere maintenance
The genotoxic activities of three cancer chemopreventive drug candidates, CP-31398 (a cell permeable styrylquinazoline p53 modulator, SHetA2 (a flexible heteroarotinoid), and phospho-ibuprofen (PI, a derivative of ibuprofen) were tested. None of the compounds were mutagenic in the Salmonella/Escherichia coli/microsome plate incorporation test. CP-31398 and SHetA2 did not induce chromosomal aberrations (CA) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, either in the presence or absence of rat hepatic S9 (S9). PI induced CA in CHO cells, but only in the presence of S9. PI, its parent compound ibuprofen, and its moiety diethoxyphosphoryloxybutyl alcohol (DEPBA) were tested for CA and micronuclei (MN) in CHO cells in the presence of S9. PI induced CA as well as MN, both kinetochore-positive (Kin+) and -negative (Kin−), in the presence of S9 at ≤100 μg/ml. Ibuprofen was negative for CA, positive for MN with Kin+ at 250 μg/ml, and positive for MN with Kin− at 125 and 250 μg/ml. DEPBA induced neither CA nor MN at ≤5000 μg/ml. The induction of chromosomal damage in PI-treated CHO cells in the presence of S9 may be due to its metabolites. None of the compounds were genotoxic, in the presence or absence of S9, in the GADD45α-GFP Human GreenScreen assay and none induced MN in mouse bone marrow erythrocytes.
Chemopreventive agents; genotoxicity; mutagenticity; chromosomal aberrations; micronuclei
The human endonuclease V gene is located in chromosome 17q25.3 and encodes a 282 amino acid protein that shares about 30% sequence identity with bacterial endonuclease V. This study reports biochemical properties of human endonuclease V with respect to repair of deaminated base lesions. Using soluble proteins fused to thioredoxin at the N-terminus, we determined repair activities of human endonuclease V on deoxyinosine (I)-, deoxyxanthosine (X)-, deoxyoxanosine (O)- and deoxyuridine (U)-containing DNA. Human endonuclease V is most active with deoxyinosine-containing DNA but with minor activity on deoxyxanthosine-containing DNA. Endonuclease activities on deoxyoxanosine and deoxyuridine were not detected. The endonuclease activity on deoxyinosine-containing DNA follows the order of single-stranded I > G/I > T/I > A/I > C/I. The preference of the catalytic activity correlates with the binding affinity of these deoxyinosine-containing DNAs. Mg2+ and to a much less extent, Mn2+, Ni2+, Co2+ can support the endonuclease activity. Introduction of human endonuclease V into Escherichia coli cells deficient in nfi, mug and ung genes caused three-fold reduction in mutation frequency. This is the first report of deaminated base repair activity for human endonuclease V. The relationship between the endonuclease activity and deaminated deoxyadenosine (deoxyinosine) repair is discussed.
deamination; nitrosative stress; inosine; xanthosine; endonuclease; DNA repair
Inappropriate survival signaling after DNA damage may facilitate clonal expansion of genetically compromised cells, and it is known that protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) inhibitors activate key survival pathways. In this study we employed the genotoxicant, hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], which is a well-documented carcinogen of occupational and environmental concern. Cr(VI) induces a complex array of DNA damage, including DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). We recently reported that PTP inhibition bypassed cell cycle arrest and abrogated Cr(VI)-induced clonogenic lethality. Notably, PTP inhibition resulted in an increase in forward mutations at the HPRT locus, supporting the hypothesis that PTP inhibition in the presence of DNA damage may lead to genomic instability (GIN), via cell cycle checkpoint bypass. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of PTP inhibition on DNA DSB formation and chromosomal integrity after Cr(VI) exposure. Diploid human lung fibroblasts were treated with Cr(VI) in the presence or absence of the PTP inhibitor, sodium orthovanadate, for up to 24 hours, and cells were analyzed for DNA DSBs and chromosomal damage. Cr(VI) treatment induced a rapid increase in DNA DSBs, and a significant increase in total chromosomal damage (chromatid breaks and gaps) after 24 hours. In sharp contrast, PTP inhibition abrogated both DNA DSBs and chromosomal damage after Cr(VI) treatment. In summary, PTP inhibition in the face of Cr(VI) genotoxic stress decreases chromosomal instability (CIN) but increases mutagenesis, which we postulate to be a result of error-prone DNA repair.
Chromosomal stability; mutagenesis; PTP inhibition; Cr(VI)
The loss of the H2O2 scavenger protein encoded by Prdx1 in mice leads to an elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and tumorigenesis of different tissues. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) mutations could initiate tumorigenesis through loss of tumor suppressor gene function in heterozygous somatic cells. A connection between the severity of ROS and the frequency of LOH mutations in vivo has not been established. Therefore, in this study, we characterized in vivo LOH in ear fibroblasts and splenic T cells of 3–4 month old Prdx1 deficient mice. We found that the loss of Prdx1 significantly elevates ROS amounts in T cells and fibroblasts. The basal amounts of ROS were higher in fibroblasts than in T cells, probably due to a less robust Prdx1 peroxidase activity in the former. Using Aprt as a LOH reporter, we observed an elevation in LOH mutation frequency in fibroblasts, but not in T cells, of Prdx1−/− mice compared to Prdx1+/+ mice. The majority of the LOH mutations in both cell types were derived from mitotic recombination (MR) events. Interestingly, Mlh1, which is known to suppress MR between divergent sequences, was found to be significantly down-regulated in fibroblasts of Prdx1−/− mice. Therefore, the combination of elevated ROS amounts and down-regulation of Mlh1 may have contributed to the elevation of MR in fibroblasts of Prdx1−/− mice. We conclude that each tissue may have a distinct mechanism through which Prdx1 deficiency promotes tumorigenesis.
reactive oxygen species; loss of heterozygosity; peroxiredoxin 1; mutations
Mistranslation leads to elevated mutagenesis and replication arrest, both of which are hypothesized to result from the presence of mixed populations of wild type and mistranslated versions of DNA polymerase III subunit proteins. Consistent with this possibility, expression of missense alleles of dnaQ (which codes for the proofreading subunit ε in wild type (dnaQ+) cells is shown to lead to SOS induction as well as mutagenesis. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of streptomycin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic known to promote mistranslation, also leads to SOS induction.
DNA replication; SOS induction; Mutagenesis; Mistranslation; Streptomycin; Mutator
The formation of a micronucleus due to chromosome lagging is a well known mechanism of chromosomal loss. However, the post-mitotic fate of the micronucleus and the chromosomal DNA within it is poorly understood. We observed micronuclei (MN) that had multiple copies of the X chromosome (ranging from 4 to 10) when analyzing cultured human lymphocytes using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A possible mechanism for this observation is that the chromosome(s) or chromatid(s) contained within the micronuclei successfully completed one or more cycles of replication after their expulsion from the primary nucleus.
Micronuclei; X chromosome; Fluorescence in situ hybridization; Acquired aneuploidy
The effect of age on the formation of radiation-induced micronucleated reticulocytes (MN-RETs) and reticulocytes (RETs) was investigated by exposing female C57BL/6J mice to graded doses of gamma rays from a 137Cs source. Age at time of irradiation was 6-, 16-, or 32-weeks, and doses ranged from 0.5 to 3 Gy. A flow cytometric technique based on anti-CD71 labeling was used to measure RET and MN-RET frequencies in blood specimens collected 43 hrs post-irradiation. Mean RET frequencies declined in a dose-dependent manner for each age group. There was only one significant difference among the ages, that is, %RET were not significantly reduced in the oldest animals at 0.5 Gy, whereas this dose did have a significant effect on the other age groups. MN-RET data were more complex. Age was observed to influence the baseline frequency of MN-RET, with the oldest mice exhibiting a significantly higher mean value. Each group’s %MN-RET values increased up to 1 Gy, but past this dose the frequencies plateaued or decreased. Age was observed to influence micronucleus frequency, with older mice exhibiting higher mean MN-RET values, especially at the high doses where the response was saturated (2 to 3 Gy). We hypothesize that these dissimilar responses can largely be explained by an age-related down-regulation of apoptosis whereby younger animals eliminate damaged bone marrow erythroid precursors with a greater efficiency compared with aged mice.
Micronuclei; Radiation; Chromosomal damage; Apoptosis; Automation; Age-dependence
Pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant genetic and lifestyle factors can contribute to an individual’s level of oxidative stress. We hypothesize that diet, lifestyle and genetic factors work together to influence colon and rectal cancer through an oxidative balance mechanism. We evaluated nine markers for eosinophil peroxidase (EPX), two for myeloperoxidase (MPO), four for hypoxia-inducible factor-1A (HIFIA), and 16 for inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2A) in conjunction with dietary antioxidants, aspirin/NSAID use, and cigarette smoking. We used data from population-based case-control studies (colon cancer n=1555 cases, 1956 controls; rectal cancer n=754 cases, 959 controls). Only NOS2A rs2297518 was associated with colon cancer (OR 0.86 95% CI 0.74,0.99) and EPX rs2302313 and MPO rs2243828 were associated with rectal cancer (OR 0.75 95% CI 0.59,0.96; OR 0.81 95% CI 0.67,0.99 respectively) for main effects. However, after adjustment for multiple comparisons we observed the following significant interactions for colon cancer: NOS2A and lutein, EPX and aspirin/NSAID use, and NOS2A (4 SNPs) and cigarette smoking. For rectal cancer we observed the following interactions after adjustment for multiple comparisons: HIF1A and vitamin E, NOS2A (3SNPs) with calcium; MPO with lutein; HIF1A with lycopene; NOS2A with selenium; EPX and NOS2A with aspirin/NSAID use; HIF1A, MPO, and NOS2A (3 SNPs) with cigarette smoking. We observed significant interaction between a composite oxidative balance score and a polygenic model for both colon (p interaction 0.0008) and rectal cancer (p=0.0018). These results suggest the need to comprehensively evaluate interactions to assess the contribution of risk from both environmental and genetic factors.
Oxidative balance; colon cancer; rectal cancer; diet; smoking; NSAIDs; EPX; NOS2A; MPO; HIF1A
The base excision repair system is vital to the repair of endogenous and exogenous DNA damage. This pathway is initiated by one of several DNA glycosylases that recognizes and excises specific DNA lesions in a coordinated fashion. Methyl-CpG Domain Protein 4 (MBD4) and Thymine DNA Glycosylase (TDG) are the two major G:T glycosylases that remove thymine generated by the deamination of 5-methylcytosine. Both of these glycosylase also remove a variety of other base lesions, including G:U and preferentially act at CpG sites throughout the genome. Many have questioned the purpose of seemingly redundant glycosylases, but new information has emerged to suggest MBD4 and TDG have diverse biological functions. MBD4 has been closely linked to apoptosis, while TDG has been clearly implicated in transcriptional regulation. This article reviews all these developments, and discusses the consequences of germline and somatic mutations that lead to non-synonymous amino acid substitutions on MBD4 and TDG protein function. In addition, we report the finding of alternately spliced variants of MBD4 and TDG and the results of functional studies of a tumor-associated variant of MBD4.
Base excision repair; DNA glycosylase; DNA methylation; polymorphisms
Spontaneous mutant frequency in the male germline increases with age, thereby increasing the risk of siring offspring with genetic disorders. In the present study we investigated the effect of age on ionizing radiation-induced male germline mutagenesis. lacI transgenic mice were treated with ionizing radiation at 4-, 15- and 26-month-old, and mutant frequencies were determined for pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids at 15 days or 49 days after ionizing radiation treatment. Cells collected 15 days after treatment were derivatives of irradiated differentiating spermatogenic cells while cells collected 49 days later were derivatives of spermatogonial stem cells. The results showed that 1) spontaneous mutant frequency increased in spermatogenic cells recovered from nonirradiated old mice (26-months-old), particularly in the round spermatids; 2) mutant frequencies were significantly increased in round spermatids obtained from middle-aged mice (15-months-old) and old age mice (26-momth-old) at 15 and 49 days after irradiation compared to the sham-treated old mice; and 3) pachytene spermatocytes obtained from 15- or 26-month-old mice displayed a significantly increased mutant frequency at 15 days post irradiation. This study indicates that age modulates the mutagenic response to ionizing radiation in the male germline.
ionizing radiation; age; mutagenesis; spermatogenic cells; lacI mouse
The human mitochondrial genome has an exclusively maternal mode of inheritance. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is particularly vulnerable to environmental insults due in part to an underdeveloped DNA repair system, limited to base excision and homologous recombination repair. Radiation exposure to the ovaries may cause mtDNA mutations in oocytes, which may in turn be transmitted to offspring. We hypothesized that the children of female cancer survivors who received radiation therapy may have an increased rate of mtDNA heteroplasmy mutations, which conceivably could increase their risk of developing cancer and other diseases. We evaluated 44 DNA blood samples from 17 Danish and 1 Finnish families (18 mothers and 26 children). All mothers had been treated for cancer as children and radiation doses to their ovaries were determined based on medical records and computational models. DNA samples were sequenced for the entire mitochondrial genome using the Illumina GAII system. Mother’s age at sample collection was positively correlated with mtDNA heteroplasmy mutations. There was evidence of heteroplasmy inheritance in that 9 of the 18 families had at least one child who inherited at least one heteroplasmy site from his or her mother. No significant difference in single nucleotide polymorphisms between mother and offspring, however, was observed. Radiation therapy dose to ovaries also was not significantly associated with the heteroplasmy mutation rate among mothers and children. No evidence was found that radiotherapy for pediatric cancer is associated with the mitochondrial genome mutation rate in female cancer survivors and their children.
Biotin serves as a covalently bound coenzyme in five human carboxylases; biotin is also attached to histones H2A, H3, and H4, although the abundance of biotinylated histones is low. Biotinylation of both carboxylases and histones is catalyzed by holocarboxylase synthetase. Human biotin requirements are unknown. Recommendations for adequate intake of biotin are based on the typical intake of biotin in an apparently healthy population, which is only a crude estimate of the true intake due to analytical problems. Importantly, intake recommendations do not take into account possible effects of biotin deficiency on impairing genome stability. Recent studies suggest that biotin deficiency causes de-repression of long terminal repeats, thereby causing genome instability. While it was originally proposed that these effects are caused by loss of biotinylated histones, more recent evidence suggests a more immediate role of holocarboxylase synthetase in forming multiprotein complexes in chromatin that are important for gene repression. Holocarboxylase synthetase appears to interact physically with the methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 and, perhaps, histone methyl transferases, thereby creating epigenetic synergies between biotinylation and methylation events. These observations might offer a mechanistic explanation for some of the birth defects seen in biotin-deficient animal models.
biotin; epigenetics; genome stability; human; requirements
Dietary choline is an important modulator of gene expression (via epigenetic marks) and of DNA integrity. Choline was discovered to be an essential nutrient for some humans approximately one decade ago. This requirement is diminished in young women because estrogen drives endogenous synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, from which choline can be derived. Almost half of women have a single nucleotide polymorphism that abrogates estrogen-induction of endogenous synthesis, and these women require dietary choline just as do men. In the US, dietary intake of choline is marginal. Choline deficiency in people is associated with liver and muscle dysfunction and damage, with apoptosis, and with increased DNA strand breaks. Several mechanisms explain these modifications to DNA. Choline deficiency increases leakage of reactive oxygen species from mitochondria consequent to altered mitochondrial membrane composition and enhanced fatty acid oxidation. Choline deficiency impairs folate metabolism, resulting in decreased thymidylate synthesis and increased uracil misincorporation into DNA, with strand breaks resulting during error-prone repair attempts. Choline deficiency alters DNA methylation, which alters gene expression for critical genes involved in DNA mismatch repair, resulting in increased mutation rates. Any dietary deficiency which increases mutation rates should be associated with increased risk of cancers, and this is the case for choline deficiency. In rodent models, diets low in choline and methyl-groups result in spontaneous hepatocarcinomas. In human epidemiological studies, there are interesting data that suggest that this also may be the case for humans, especially those with SNPs that increase the dietary requirement for choline.
Choline; DNA; SNP; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; epigenetics; methylation
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a peroxisome proliferator agent that is widely used as a plasticizer to soften polyvinylchloride plastics and non-polymers. Both occupational (e.g., by inhalation during its manufacture and use as a plasticizer of polyvinylchloride) and environmental (medical devices, contamination of food, or intake from air, water and soil) routes of exposure to DEHP are of concern for human health. There is sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity of DEHP in the liver in both rats and mice; however, there is little epidemiological evidence on possible associations between exposure to DEHP and liver cancer in humans. Data are available to suggest that liver is not the only target tissue for DEHP-associated toxicity and carcinogenicity in both humans and rodents. The debate regarding human relevance of the findings in rats or mice has been informed by studies on the mechanisms of carcinogenesis of the peroxisome proliferator class of chemicals, including DEHP. Important additional mechanistic information became available in the past decade, including, but not limited to, sub-acute, sub-chronic and chronic studies with DEHP in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α-null mice, as well as experiments utilizing several transgenic mouse lines. Activation of PPARα and the subsequent downstream events mediated by this transcription factor represent an important mechanism of action for DEHP in rats and mice. However, additional data from animal models and studies in humans exposed to DEHP from the environment suggest that multiple molecular signals and pathways in several cell types in the liver, rather than a single molecular event, contribute to the cancer in rats and mice. In addition, the toxic and carcinogenic effects of DEHP are not limited to liver. The International Agency for Research on Cancer working group concluded that the human relevance of the molecular events leading to cancer elicited by DEHP in several target tissues (e.g., liver and testis) in rats and mice can not be ruled out and DEHP was classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).