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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
  Year: 2020 | Volume: 23 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 518-525
DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2020.518.525
 
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Hypermethylation in Gene Promoters Are Induced by Chronic Exposure to Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes

Rafaele Tavares Silvestre, Maryah Bravo, Fabio Santiago, Lucas Delmonico, Luciano Scherrer, Ubirani Barros Otero, Thomas Liehr , Gilda Alves, Mariana Chantre-Justino and Maria Helena Ornellas

Abstract:
Background and Objective: Gas station attendants are occupationally exposed to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) compounds and thus more susceptible to the biological effects of this mixture present in gasoline, especially due to the carcinogenicity of benzene. Furthermore, the harmful effects of BTEX exposure may be potentiated by genetic and epigenetic inactivation of critical genes. The objective was to evaluate such gene-BTEX interactions accessing the promoter methylation status of p14ARF, p16INK4A and GSTP1 in peripheral blood leukocyte samples. Materials and Methods: The 59 exposed and 68 unexposed participants from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were included. The promoter methylation status was accessed by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and GSTP1 Ile105Val polymorphism was investigated by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. Results: Both p14ARF and p16INK4A were significantly hypermethylated in exposed subjects compared to unexposed (p = 0.004 and p<0.001, respectively). Additionally, p16INK4A hypermethylation in the exposed group was correlated with chromosomal abnormalities (CAs) (p = 0.018), thus highlighting the influence of the gene-environment interactions on genome instability. Noteworthy, p16INK4A methylation was significantly associated with miscarriage among female attendants (p = 0.047), in which those who reported miscarriage exhibited hypermethylation in at least 2 of the 3 genes analyzed. The GSTP1 heterozygote genotype, which could affect the metabolism of benzene detoxification, was found in both groups but was more frequent in those occupationally exposed. No significant association was observed between GSTP1 genotypes and methylation status. Conclusion: Together, these findings indicate that gas station attendants with the aforementioned epigenetic and genetic profiles may be at greater risk of occupational BTEX exposure-induced genome instability, which could require concerted efforts to establish more preventive actions and constant biomonitoring in gas station attendants.
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How to cite this article:

Rafaele Tavares Silvestre, Maryah Bravo, Fabio Santiago, Lucas Delmonico, Luciano Scherrer, Ubirani Barros Otero, Thomas Liehr, Gilda Alves, Mariana Chantre-Justino and Maria Helena Ornellas, 2020. Hypermethylation in Gene Promoters Are Induced by Chronic Exposure to Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 23: 518-525.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2020.518.525

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjbs.2020.518.525

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