Epigenetic and Transcriptional Modifications in Repetitive Elements in Petrol Station Workers Exposed to Benzene and MTBE.
ABSTRACT: Benzene, a known human carcinogen, and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity, are fuel-related pollutants. This study investigated the effect of these chemicals on epigenetic and transcriptional alterations in DNA repetitive elements. In 89 petrol station workers and 90 non-occupationally exposed subjects the transcriptional activity of retrotransposons (LINE-1, Alu), the methylation on repeated-element DNA, and of H3K9 histone, were investigated in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Median work shift exposure to benzene and MTBE was 59 and 408 µg/m³ in petrol station workers, and 4 and 3.5 µg/m³, in controls. Urinary benzene (BEN-U), S-phenylmercapturic acid, and MTBE were significantly higher in workers than in controls, while trans,trans-muconic acid (tt-MA) was comparable between the two groups. Increased BEN-U was associated with increased Alu-Y and Alu-J expression; moreover, increased tt-MA was associated with increased Alu-Y and Alu-J and LINE-1 (L1)-5'UTR expression. Among repetitive element methylation, only L1-Pa5 was hypomethylated in petrol station workers compared to controls. While L1-Ta and Alu-YD6 methylation was not associated with benzene exposure, a negative association with urinary MTBE was observed. The methylation status of histone H3K9 was not associated with either benzene or MTBE exposure. Overall, these findings only partially support previous observations linking benzene exposure with global DNA hypomethylation.
Project description:To assess exposure to benzene (BEN) and other aromatic compounds (toluene, ethylbenzene, m+p-xylene, o-xylene) (BTEX), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), and ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) in petrol station workers using air sampling and biological monitoring and to propose biological equivalents to occupational limit values.Eighty-nine petrol station workers and 90 control subjects were investigated. Personal exposure to airborne BTEX and ethers was assessed during a mid-week shift; urine samples were collected at the beginning of the work week, prior to and at the end of air sampling.Petrol station workers had median airborne exposures to benzene and MTBE of 59 and 408 µg m(-3), respectively, with urinary benzene (BEN-U) and MTBE (MTBE-U) of 339 and 780 ng l(-1), respectively. Concentrations in petrol station workers were higher than in control subjects. There were significant positive correlations between airborne exposure and the corresponding biological marker, with Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) values of 0.437 and 0.865 for benzene and MTBE, respectively. There was also a strong correlation between airborne benzene and urinary MTBE (r = 0.835). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that the urinary levels of benzene were influenced by personal airborne exposure, urinary creatinine, and tobacco smoking [determination coefficient (R(2)) 0.572], while MTBE-U was influenced only by personal exposure (R(2) = 0.741).BEN-U and MTBE-U are sensitive and specific biomarkers of low occupational exposures. We propose using BEN-U as biomarker of exposure to benzene in nonsmokers and suggest 1457 ng l(-1) in end shift urine samples as biological exposure equivalent to the EU occupational limit value of 1 p.p.m.; for both smokers and nonsmokers, MTBE-U may be proposed as a surrogate biomarker of benzene exposure, with a biological exposure equivalent of 22 µg l(-1) in end shift samples. For MTBE exposure, we suggest the use of MTBE-U with a biological exposure equivalent of 22 µg l(-1) corresponding to the occupational limit value of 50 p.p.m.
Project description:Repetitive elements take up >40% of the human genome and can change distribution through transposition, thus generating subfamilies. Repetitive element DNA methylation has associated with several diseases and environmental exposures, including exposure to airborne pollutants. No systematic analysis has yet been conducted to examine the effects of exposures across different repetitive element subfamilies. The purpose of the study is to evaluate sensitivity of DNA methylation in differentially?evolved LINE, Alu, and HERV subfamilies to different types of airborne pollutants.We sampled a total of 120 male participants from three studies (20 high-, 20 low-exposure in each study) of steel workers exposed to metal-rich particulate matter (measured as PM10) (Study 1); gas-station attendants exposed to air benzene (Study 2); and truck drivers exposed to traffic-derived elemental carbon (Study 3). We measured methylation by bisulfite-PCR-pyrosequencing in 10 differentially?evolved repetitive element subfamilies.High-exposure groups exhibited subfamily-specific methylation differences compared to low-exposure groups: L1PA2 showed lower DNA methylation in steel workers (P=0.04) and gas station attendants (P=0.03); L1Ta showed lower DNA methylation in steel workers (P=0.02); AluYb8 showed higher DNA methylation in truck drivers (P=0.05). Within each study, dose-response analyses showed subfamily-specific correlations of methylation with exposure levels. Interaction models showed that the effects of the exposures on DNA methylation were dependent on the subfamily evolutionary age, with stronger effects on older LINEs from PM10 (p?interaction=0.003) and benzene (p?interaction=0.04), and on younger Alus from PM10 (p-interaction=0.02).The evolutionary age of repetitive element subfamilies determines differential susceptibility of DNA methylation to airborne pollutants.
Project description:Chronic occupational exposure to benzene is associated with an increased risk of hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The main objective of this study was to investigate the association between benzene exposure and DNA methylation, both in repeated elements and candidate genes, in a population of 158 Bulgarian petrochemical workers and 50 unexposed office workers. Exposure assessment included personal monitoring of airborne benzene at work and urinary biomarkers of benzene metabolism (S-phenylmercapturic acid [SPMA] and trans,trans-muconic acid [t,t-MA]) at the end of the work-shift. The median levels of airborne benzene, SPMA and t,t-MA in workers were 0.46 ppm, 15.5 µg/L and 711 µg/L respectively, and exposure levels were significantly lower in the controls. Repeated-element DNA methylation was measured in Alu and LINE-1, and gene-specific methylation in MAGE and p15. DNA methylation levels were not significantly different between exposed workers and controls (P>0.05). Both ordinary least squares (OLS) and beta-regression models were used to estimate benzene-methylation associations. Beta-regression showed better model specification, as reflected in improved coefficient of determination (pseudo R(2)) and Akaike's information criterion (AIC). In beta-regression, we found statistically significant reductions in LINE-1 (-0.15%, P<0.01) and p15 (-0.096%, P<0.01) mean methylation levels with each interquartile range (IQR) increase in SPMA. This study showed statistically significant but weak associations of LINE-1 and p15 hypomethylation with SPMA in Bulgarian petrochemical workers. We showed that beta-regression is more appropriate than OLS regression for fitting methylation data.
Project description:inhalation of benzene vapours promote various and dangerous health problems. Fuel station workers are most susceptible to benzene inhalation toxicity. Samples were collected twice, at beginning of the study and 6 months later from 40 fuel station workers from different egyptian governorates and 10 control healthy volunteers. Fuel station workers were sub divided into four groups according to years working in the station. All of them are exposed to benzene vapours and exhausts during their duties, their work shifts were 8 hrs./day. Results indicated that; benzene vapours exposure induced significant increasing in serum Lead and Cadmium and Myeloperoxidase (MPO) enzyme activity levels. This goes with marked immunologic changes presented by decreases in immunoglobulins; IgA and IgG, along with increases in levels of IgM and IgE. Also, Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly increased. Meanwhile, reduction in some other biochemical parameters including; Copper, Zinc and Iron micronutrients, as well as; Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Catalase (CAT) enzyme levels and Glutathione (GSH) content. Hence, the study inferred that prolonged benzene inhalation can lead to biochemical and immune disorders, probably through potentiating oxidative stress and inflammation pathways.
Project description:DNA methylation of CpGs located in two types of repetitive elements-LINE1 (L1) and Alu-is used to assess "global" changes in DNA methylation in studies of human disease and environmental exposure. L1 and Alu contribute close to 30% of all base pairs in the human genome and transposition of repetitive elements is repressed through DNA methylation. Few studies have investigated whether repetitive element DNA methylation is associated with DNA methylation at other genomic regions, or the biological and technical factors that influence potential associations. Here, we assess L1 and Alu DNA methylation by Pyrosequencing of consensus sequences and using subsets of probes included in the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip array. We show that evolutionary age and assay method affect the assessment of repetitive element DNA methylation. Additionally, we compare Pyrosequencing results for repetitive elements to average DNA methylation of CpG islands, as assessed by array probes classified into strong, weak and non-islands. We demonstrate that each of these dispersed sequences exhibits different patterns of tissue-specific DNA methylation. Correlation of DNA methylation suggests an association between L1 and weak CpG island DNA methylation in some of the tissues examined. We caution, however, that L1, Alu and CpG island DNA methylation are distinct measures of dispersed DNA methylation and one should not be used in lieu of another. Analysis of DNA methylation data is complex and assays may be influenced by environment and pathology in different or complementary ways.
Project description:Methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its degradation by-product, tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), are widespread contaminants detected frequently in groundwater in California. Since MTBE was used as a fuel oxygenate for almost two decades, leaking underground fuel storage tanks are an important source of contamination. Gasoline components such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) are often present in mixtures with MTBE and TBA. Investigations of interactions between BTEX and MTBE degradation have not yielded consistent trends, and the molecular mechanisms of BTEX compounds' impact on MTBE degradation are not well understood. We investigated trends in transcription of biodegradation genes in the MTBE-degrading bacterium, Methylibium petroleiphilum PM1 upon exposure to MTBE, TBA, ethylbenzene and benzene as individual compounds or in mixtures. We designed real-time quantitative PCR assays to target functional genes of strain PM1 and provide evidence for induction of genes mdpA (MTBE monooxygenase), mdpJ (TBA hydroxylase) and bmoA (benzene monooxygenase) in response to MTBE, TBA and benzene, respectively. Delayed induction of mdpA and mdpJ transcription occurred with mixtures of benzene and MTBE or TBA, respectively. bmoA transcription was similar in the presence of MTBE or TBA with benzene as in their absence. Our results also indicate that ethylbenzene, previously proposed as an inhibitor of MTBE degradation in some bacteria, inhibits transcription of mdpA, mdpJ and bmoAgenes in strain PM1.
Project description:To identify potential methylation biomarkers in occupationally benzene-exposed individuals and to elucidate mechanisms of benzene hematotoxicity. Overall design: Bisulfite converted DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of four patients of chronic benzene poisoning, four workers exposed to benzene levels ranging from < 1 ppm and four health controls matched age and gender without benzene exposure samples was hybridized to the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Petrol is the non-specific term for petroleum which is used for inside combustion of engines. Petrol filling workers are highly vulnerable to occupational exposure to these harmful substances which lead to hemato-toxicity and blood disorders such as leukemia, aplastic anemia, and dysplastic bone marrow. Thus, this study was aimed to assess hematological parameters of petrol filling workers in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. METHODS:A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted from January to March 2019 in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. A total of 110 study participants comprising 55 study groups and 55 controls group were recruited by a convenient sampling technique. Socio-demographic data were collected using a structured questionnaire, and 3 ml of venous blood was collected for the determination of hematological parameters. The data were entered into Epi info 18.104.22.168 and analyzed by SPSS version of 20. Mean, standard deviation, median, and interquartile ranges were used to present the data. Independent t test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to compare the mean or median difference between parametric and non-parametric hematological parameters, respectively. Moreover, Pearson product-moment and Spearman's rank-order bivariable correlations analyses were used to describe the correlation between hematological parameters and duration of exposure to petrol. A P value of ? 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:The study revealed that mean red blood cell count and hemoglobin level as well as the median hematocrit, mean cell hemoglobin concentration, platelet count, absolute lymphocytes count, and red cell distribution width values of petrol filling workers showed a significant increment compared with the control group. On the other hand, the mean cell hemoglobin value of petrol filling workers showed a significant decrement compared with healthy controls. Moreover, the duration of exposure to petrol showed a significant positive correlation with red blood cell count and mean cell hemoglobin concentration; however, a significant negative correlation was observed with mean cell volume. CONCLUSION:This study showed that the majority of hematological parameters of petrol filling workers showed an increment compared with healthy controls which might be associated with exposure to petrol chemicals. However, further longitudinal study with a larger sample size should be conducted to explore the impact of petrol exposure on hematopoiesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A loss of heterozygosity (LOH) represents a unilateral chromosomal loss that reduces the dose of highly repetitive Alu, L1, and LTR retroelements. The aim of this study was to determine if the LOH events can affect the spread of retroelement methylation in the 5'-end transitional area between the CpG islands and their nearest retroelements. METHODS: The 5'-transitional area of all human genes (22,297) was measured according to the nearest retroelements to the transcription start sites. For 50 gastric cancer specimens, the level of LOH events on eight cancer-associated chromosomes was estimated using the microsatellite markers, and the 5'-transitional CpGs of 20 selected genes were examined by methylation analysis using the bisulfite-modified DNA. RESULTS: The extent of the transitional area was significantly shorter with the nearest Alu elements than with the nearest L1 and LTR elements, as well as in the extragenic regions containing a higher density of retroelements than in the intragenic regions. The CpG islands neighbouring a high density of Alu elements were consistently hypomethylated in both normal and tumor tissues. The 5'-transitional methylated CpG sites bordered by a low density of Alu elements or the L1 and LTR elements were hypomethylated more frequently in the high-level LOH cases than in the low-level LOH cases. CONCLUSION: The 5'-transitional methylated CpG sites not completely protected by the Alu elements were hypomethylated in association with LOH events in gastric cancers. This suggests that an irreversible unbalanced decrease in the genomic dose reduces the spread of L1 methylation in the 5'-end regions of genes.
Project description:A potential relationship between transposon-derived repeats (TDR) and human germline methylation is of biological importance since many genes are flanked by TDR and methylation could affect the expression of nearby genes. Furthermore, DNA methylation has been suggested as a global defense mechanism against genome instability threatened by TDR. We studied the correlation between the density of HapMap methyl-associated SNPs (mSNPs), a marker of germline methylation, and proportion of TDR. After correcting for confounding variables, we found a negative correlation between proportion of Alu repeats and mSNP density for 125-1000 kb windows. Similar results were found for the most active subgroup of repeats. In contrast, a negative correlation between proportion of L1 repeats and mSNP density was found only in the larger 1000 kb windows. Using methylation data on germ cells (sperm) from the Human Epigenome Project, we found a lower proportion of Alu repeats adjacent (3-15 kb) to hypermethylated amplicons. On the contrary, there was a higher proportion of L1 repeats in the 3-5 kb of sequence flanking hypermethylated amplicons but not in the 10-15 kb flanks. Our data indicate a differential response to the major repeat families and that DNA methylation is unlikely to be a uniform global defense system against all TDR. It appears to play a role for the L1 subgroup, with sequences adjacent to L1 repeats methylated in response to their proximity. In contrast, sequences adjacent to Alu repeats appear to be hypomethylated, arguing against a role of methylation in germline defense against those elements.