Exposure to environmental arsenicals has been linked to a number of human pathologies, include bladder and lung cancer. We hypothesize that arsenical-mediated perturbation of the epigenetic landscape is an important factor that drives malignant progression. Three integrated specific aims are described in this proposal will address this hypothesis from a gene to genome wide analysis, and from in vitro to """"""""real world"""""""" settings.
Aim 1 is designed to develop epigenetic targets as biomarkers of arsenical exposure. Preliminary epigenome-wide scanning studies of urine sediments from individuals with known exposure levels in their drinking water have identified candidate epigenetic biomarkers are correlated with arsenical exposure level. The utility of these candidate biomarkers will be evaluated using high sensitivity, high resolution technologies in a new cohort population.
Aim 2 will determine if arsenicals produce common perturbations to the epigenomic landscape in their distinct epithelial targets. Experimental strategies of arsenical exposure that caused malignant transformation of urothelial cells will be expanded to lung epithelial model systems. Results from these experiments will help determine if there are seminal epigenetic changes that are common to epithelial malignant transformation in general, as well as the epigenetic changes that display tissue-origin specificity.
Aim 3 will provide a detailed investigation of the phenotypic consequences of epigenetic gene inactivation of an arsenical target gene, G0S2, which is closely linked to the malignant transformation of urothelial cells. If our hypothesis is correct, then results from these studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms of their chronic arsenical exposure, as well as serve as a platform for inquiries into other, non-cancer, arsenic-induced human pathologies, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Public Health Relevance

Environment - genome interactions are becoming more important in understanding pollutant associated diseases. Epigenetic studies will provide new insights into the mechanisms of arsenic-induced cancers, as well as serve as a platform for inquiries into other, non-cancer, arsenic-induced human pathologies, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. An important mechanism of arsenical toxicity is its ability to alter cellular phenotype through disruption of the normal epigenetic landscape.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Type
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
Project #
5P42ES004940-25
Application #
8659386
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LWJ-M)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2014-04-01
Budget End
2015-03-31
Support Year
25
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$160,283
Indirect Cost
$54,484
Name
University of Arizona
Department
Type
DUNS #
806345617
City
Tucson
State
AZ
Country
United States
Zip Code
85721
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