ShRNA silencing of AS3MT expression minimizes arsenic methylation capacity of HepG2 cells.
ABSTRACT: Several methyltransferases have been shown to catalyze the oxidative methylation of inorganic arsenic (iAs) in mammalian species. However, the relative contributions of these enzymes to the overall capacity of cells to methylate iAs have not been characterized. Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) that is expressed in rat and human hepatocytes catalyzes the conversion of iAs, yielding methylated metabolites that contain arsenic in +3 or +5 oxidation states. This study used short hairpin RNA (shRNA) to knock down AS3MT expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. In a stable clonal HepG2/A cell line, AS3MT mRNA and protein levels were reduced by 83 and 88%, respectively. In comparison, the capacity to methylate iAs decreased only by 70%. These data suggest that AS3MT is the major enzyme in this pathway, although an AS3MT-independent process may contribute to iAs methylation in human hepatic cells.
Project description:Biomethylation is the major pathway for the metabolism of inorganic arsenic (iAs) in many mammalian species, including the human. However, significant interspecies differences have been reported in the rate of in vivo metabolism of iAs and in yields of iAs metabolites found in urine. Liver is considered the primary site for the methylation of iAs and arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (As3mt) is the key enzyme in this pathway. Thus, the As3mt-catalyzed methylation of iAs in the liver determines in part the rate and the pattern of iAs metabolism in various species. We examined kinetics and concentration-response patterns for iAs methylation by cultured primary hepatocytes derived from human, rat, mice, dog, rabbit, and rhesus monkey. Hepatocytes were exposed to [(73)As]arsenite (iAs(III); 0.3, 0.9, 3.0, 9.0 or 30 nmol As/mg protein) for 24 h and radiolabeled metabolites were analyzed in cells and culture media. Hepatocytes from all six species methylated iAs(III) to methylarsenic (MAs) and dimethylarsenic (DMAs). Notably, dog, rat and monkey hepatocytes were considerably more efficient methylators of iAs(III) than mouse, rabbit or human hepatocytes. The low efficiency of mouse, rabbit and human hepatocytes to methylate iAs(III) was associated with inhibition of DMAs production by moderate concentrations of iAs(III) and with retention of iAs and MAs in cells. No significant correlations were found between the rate of iAs methylation and the thioredoxin reductase activity or glutathione concentration, two factors that modulate the activity of recombinant As3mt. No associations between the rates of iAs methylation and As3mt protein structures were found for the six species examined. Immunoblot analyses indicate that the superior arsenic methylation capacities of dog, rat and monkey hepatocytes examined in this study may be associated with a higher As3mt expression. However, factors other than As3mt expression may also contribute to the interspecies differences in the hepatocyte capacity to methylate iAs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a significant public health problem. Methylation of iAs by arsenic methyltransferase (AS3MT) controls iAs detoxification and modifies risks of iAs-induced diseases. Mechanisms underlying these diseases have been extensively studied using animal models. However, substantive differences between humans and laboratory animals in efficiency of iAs methylation have hindered the translational potential of the laboratory studies. OBJECTIVES:The goal of this study was to determine whether humanization of the As3mt gene confers a human-like pattern of iAs metabolism in mice. METHODS:We generated a mouse strain in which the As3mt gene along with the adjacent Borcs7 gene was humanized by syntenic replacement. We compared expression of the mouse As3mt and the human AS3MT and the rate and pattern of iAs metabolism in the wild-type and humanized mice. RESULTS:AS3MT expression in mouse tissues closely modeled that of human and differed substantially from expression of As3mt. Detoxification of iAs was much less efficient in the humanized mice than in wild-type mice. Profiles for iAs and its methylated metabolites in tissues and excreta of the humanized mice were consistent with those reported in humans. Notably, the humanized mice expressed both the full-length AS3MT that catalyzes iAs methylation and the human-specific AS3MTd2d3 splicing variant that has been linked to schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that AS3MT is the primary genetic locus responsible for the unique pattern of iAs metabolism in humans. Thus, the humanized mouse strain can be used to study the role of iAs methylation in the pathogenesis of iAs-induced diseases, as well as to evaluate the role of AS3MTd2d3 in schizophrenia. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP6943.
Project description:Exposure to inorganic arsenic increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Arsenic metabolism is a susceptibility factor for arsenic toxicity, and specific haplotypes in arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) have been associated with increased urinary fractions of the most toxic arsenic metabolite, methylarsonic acid (MMA). The aim of this study is to elucidate the association of AS3MT haplotypes with arsenic metabolism and the risk of BCC. Four AS3MT polymorphisms were genotyped in BCC cases (N = 529) and controls (N = 533) from Eastern Europe with low to moderate arsenic exposure (lifetime average drinking water concentration: 1.3 µg/L, range 0.01-167 µg/L). Urinary metabolites [inorganic arsenic (iAs), MMA, dimethylarsinic acid (DMA)] were analyzed by HPLC-ICPMS. Five AS3MT haplotypes (based on rs3740400 A/C, rs3740393 G/C, rs11191439 T/C and rs1046778 T/C) had frequencies >5%. Individuals with the CCTC haplotype had lower %iAs (P = 0.032) and %MMA (P = 0.020) in urine, and higher %DMA (P = 0.033); individuals with the CGCT haplotype had higher %MMA (P < 0.001) and lower %DMA (P < 0.001). All haplotypes showed increased risk of BCC with increasing arsenic exposure through drinking water (ORs 1.1-1.4, P values from <0.001 to 0.082), except for the CCTC haplotype (OR 1.0, CI 0.9-1.2, P value 0.85). The results suggest that carriage of AS3MT haplotypes associated with less-efficient arsenic methylation, or lack of AS3MT haplotypes associated with a more-efficient arsenic methylation, results in higher risk of arsenic-related BCC. The fact that AS3MT haplotype status modified arsenic metabolism, and in turn the arsenic-related BCC risk, supports a causal relationship between low-level arsenic exposure and BCC.
Project description:Susceptibility to toxic effects of inorganic arsenic (iAs) depends, in part, on efficiency of iAs methylation by arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT). As3mt-knockout (KO) mice that cannot efficiently methylate iAs represent an ideal model to study the association between iAs metabolism and adverse effects of iAs exposure, including effects on metabolic phenotype. The present study compared measures of glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and obesity in male and female wild-type (WT) and As3mt-KO mice during a 24-week exposure to iAs in drinking water (0.1 or 1 mg As/L) and in control WT and As3mt-KO mice drinking deionized water. Results show that effects of iAs exposure on fasting blood glucose (FBG) and glucose tolerance in either WT or KO mice were relatively minor and varied during the exposure. The major effects were associated with As3mt KO. Both male and female control KO mice had higher body mass with higher percentage of fat than their respective WT controls. However, only male KO mice were insulin resistant as indicated by high FBG, and high plasma insulin at fasting state and 15 min after glucose challenge. Exposure to iAs increased fat mass and insulin resistance in both male and female KO mice, but had no significant effects on body composition or insulin resistance in WT mice. These data suggest that As3mt KO is associated with an adverse metabolic phenotype that is characterized by obesity and insulin resistance, and that the extent of the impairment depends on sex and exposure to iAs, including exposure to iAs from mouse diet.
Project description:Chronic arsenic exposure via drinking water has become a worldwide public health concern. In humans, inorganic arsenic (iAs) is metabolized to monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) mainly mediated by arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (As3MT). We reported recently that N-6 adenine-specific DNA methyltransferase 1 (N6AMT1) was involved in arsenic metabolism, and examined its interactive effect with As3MT on arsenic metabolism in vitro To further evaluate the interactive effect of N6AMT1 and As3MT on arsenic biomethylation in humans, we conducted a human population-based study including 289 subjects living in rural villages in Inner Mongolia, China, and assessed their urinary arsenic metabolites profiles in relation to genetic polymorphisms and haplotypes of N6AMT1 and As3MT Five N6AMT1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs1003671, rs7282257, rs2065266, rs2738966, rs2248501) and the N6AMT1 haplotype 2_GGCCAT were significantly associated with the percentage of iAs (% iAs) in urine (e.g., for rs7282257, mean was 9.62% for TT, 6.73% for AA). Rs1003671 was also in a significant relationship with urinary MMA and DMA (the mean of %MMA was 24.95% for GA, 31.69% for GG; the mean of % DMA was 69.21% for GA, 59.82% for GG). The combined effect of N6AMT1 haplotype 2_GGCCAT and As3MT haplotype 2_GCAC showed consistence with the additive significance of each haplotype on % iAs: the mean was 5.47% and 9.36% for carriers with both and null haplotypes, respectively. Overall, we showed that N6AMT1 genetic polymorphisms were associated with arsenic biomethylation in the Chinese population, and its interaction with As3MT was observed in specific haplotype combinations.
Project description:Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is the key enzyme in the metabolism of inorganic arsenic (iAs). Polymorphisms of AS3MT influence adverse health effects in adults, but little is known about their role in iAs metabolism in pregnant women and infants. The relationships between seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AS3MT and urinary concentrations of iAs and its methylated metabolites were assessed in mother-infant pairs of the Biomarkers of Exposure to ARsenic (BEAR) cohort. Maternal alleles for five of the seven SNPs (rs7085104, rs3740400, rs3740393, rs3740390, and rs1046778) were associated with urinary concentrations of iAs metabolites, and alleles for one SNP (rs3740393) were associated with birth outcomes/measures. These associations were strongly dependent upon the male sex of the fetus but independent of fetal genotype for AS3MT. These data highlight a potential sex-dependence of the relationships among maternal genotype, iAs metabolism and infant health outcomes.
Project description:Exposure to naturally occurring inorganic arsenic (iAs), primarily from contaminated drinking water, is considered one of the top environmental health threats worldwide. Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is the key enzyme in the biotransformation pathway of iAs. AS3MT catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to trivalent arsenicals, resulting in the production of methylated (MAs) and dimethylated arsenicals (DMAs). MAs is a susceptibility factor for iAs-induced toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the association of the polymorphism in AS3MT gene with iAs metabolism and with the presence of arsenic (As) premalignant skin lesions. This is a case-control study of 71 cases with skin lesions and 51 controls without skin lesions recruited from a iAs endemic area in Mexico. We measured urinary As metabolites, differentiating the trivalent and pentavalent arsenical species, using the hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry. In addition, the study subjects were genotyped to analyze three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), A-477G, T14458C (nonsynonymus SNP; Met287Thr), and T35587C, in the AS3MT gene. We compared the frequencies of the AS3MT alleles, genotypes, and haplotypes in individuals with and without skin lesions. Marginal differences in the frequencies of the Met287Thr genotype were identified between individuals with and without premalignant skin lesions (p=0.055): individuals carrying the C (TC+CC) allele (Thr) were at risk [odds ratio=4.28; 95% confidence interval (1.0-18.5)]. Also, individuals with C allele of Met287Thr displayed greater percentage of MAs in urine and decrease in the percentage of DMAs. These findings indicate that Met287Thr influences the susceptibility to premalignant As skin lesions and might be at increased risk for other adverse health effects of iAs exposure.
Project description:Variants in AS3MT, the gene encoding arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltranserase, have been shown to influence patterns of inorganic arsenic (iAs) metabolism. Several studies have suggested that capacity to metabolize iAs may vary depending on levels of iAs exposure. However, it is not known whether the influence of variants in AS3MT on iAs metabolism also vary by level of exposure. We investigated, in a population of Mexican adults exposed to drinking water As, whether associations between 7 candidate variants in AS3MT and urinary iAs metabolites were consistent with prior studies, and whether these associations varied depending on the level of exposure. Overall, associations between urinary iAs metabolites and AS3MT variants were consistent with the literature. Referent genotypes, defined as the genotype previously associated with a higher percentage of urinary dimethylated As (DMAs%), were associated with significant increases in the DMAs% and ratio of DMAs to monomethylated As (MAs), and significant reductions in MAs% and iAs%. For 3 variants, associations between genotypes and iAs metabolism were significantly stronger among subjects exposed to water As?>50 versus??50?ppb (water As X genotype interaction P?<?.05). In contrast, for 1 variant (rs17881215), associations were significantly stronger at exposures ?50?ppb. Results suggest that iAs exposure may influence the extent to which several AS3MT variants affect iAs metabolism. The variants most strongly associated with iAs metabolism-and perhaps with susceptibility to iAs-associated disease-may vary in settings with exposure level.
Project description:Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, and exists predominantly as inorganic arsenite (As (III) and arsenate As (V)). Arsenic contamination of drinking water has long been recognized as a major global health concern. Arsenic exposure causes changes in skin color and lesions, and more severe health conditions such as black foot disease as well as various cancers originating in the lungs, skin, and bladder. In order to efficiently metabolize and excrete arsenic, it is methylated to monomethylarsonic and dimethylarsinic acid. One single enzyme, arsenic methyltransferase (AS3MT) is responsible for generating both metabolites. AS3MT has been purified from several mammalian and nonmammalian species, and its mRNA sequences were determined from amino acid sequences. With the advent of genome technology, mRNA sequences of AS3MT have been predicted from many species throughout the animal kingdom. Horizontal gene transfer had been postulated for this gene through phylogenetic studies, which suggests the importance of this gene in appropriately handling arsenic exposures in various organisms. An altered ability to methylate arsenic is dependent on specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AS3MT. Reduced AS3MT activity resulting in poor metabolism of iAs has been shown to reduce expression of the tumor suppressor gene, p16, which is a potential pathway in arsenic carcinogenesis. Arsenic is also known to induce oxidative stress in cells. However, the presence of antioxidant response elements (AREs) in the promoter sequences of AS3MT in several species does not correlate with the ability to methylate arsenic. ARE elements are known to bind NRF2 and induce antioxidant enzymes to combat oxidative stress. NRF2 may be partly responsible for the biotransformation of iAs and the generation of methylated arsenic species via AS3MT. In this article, arsenic metabolism, excretion, and toxicity, a discussion of the AS3MT gene and its evolutionary history, and DNA methylation resulting from arsenic exposure have been reviewed.