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1.  Global hypomethylation in hepatocellular carcinoma and its relationship to aflatoxin B1 exposure 
World Journal of Hepatology  2012;4(5):169-175.
AIM: To determine global DNA methylation in paired hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples using several different assays and explore the correlations between hypomethylation and clinical parameters and biomarkers, including that of aflatoxin B1 exposure.
METHODS: Using the radio labeled methyl acceptance assay as a measure of global hypomethylation, as well as two repetitive elements, including satellite 2 (Sat2) by MethyLight and long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1), by pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: By all three assays, mean methylation levels in tumor tissues were significantly lower than that in adjacent tissues. Methyl acceptance assay log (mean ± SD) disintegrations/min/ng DNA are 70.0 ± 54.8 and 32.4 ± 15.6, respectively, P = 0.040; percent methylation of Sat2 42.2 ± 55.1 and 117.9 ± 88.8, respectively, P < 0.0001 and percent methylation LINE1 48.6 ± 14.8 and 71.7 ± 1.4, respectively, P < 0.0001. Aflatoxin B1-albumin (AFB1-Alb) adducts, a measure of exposure to this dietary carcinogen, were inversely correlated with LINE1 methylation (r = -0.36, P = 0.034).
CONCLUSION: Consistent hypomethylation in tumor compared to adjacent tissue was found by the three different methods. AFB1 exposure is associated with DNA global hypomethylation, suggesting that chemical carcinogens may influence epigenetic changes in humans.
PMCID: PMC3365436  PMID: 22666524
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Epigenetics; Hypomethylation; [3H]-methyl acceptance assay; Satellite 2; Long interspersed nucleotide element-1; Aflatoxin B1
2.  Interactions of chemical carcinogens and genetic variation in hepatocellular carcinoma 
World Journal of Hepatology  2010;2(3):94-102.
In the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in addition to hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections, chemical carcinogens also play important roles. For example, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) epoxide reacts with guanine in DNA and can lead to genetic changes. In HCC, the tumor suppressor gene p53 codon 249 mutation is associated with AFB1 exposure and mutations in the K-ras oncogene are related to vinyl chloride exposure. Numerous genetic alterations accumulate during the process of hepatocarcinogenesis. Chemical carcinogen DNA-adduct formation is the basis for these genetic changes and also a molecular marker which reflects exposure level and biological effects. Metabolism of chemical carcinogens, including their activation and detoxification, also plays a key role in chemical hepatocarcinogenesis. Cytochrome p450 enzymes, N-acetyltransferases and glutathione S-transferases are involved in activating and detoxifying chemical carcinogens. These enzymes are polymorphic and genetic variation influences biological response to chemical carcinogens. This genetic variation has been postulated to influence the variability in risk for HCC observed both within and across populations. Ongoing studies seek to fully understand the mechanisms by which genetic variation in response to chemical carcinogens impacts on HCC risk.
PMCID: PMC2999273  PMID: 21160980
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Chemical carcinogens; Aflatoxin B1; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; 4-aminobiphenyl; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; Glutathione S-transferase; Cytochrome p450 enzymes; Genetic variation

Results 1-2 (2)