Recent concern has centred on the effects of continuous exposure to low concentrations of benzene, both occupationally and environmentally. Although benzene has for a long time been recognised as a carcinogen for humans, its mechanistic pathway remains unclear. Since mutations in the tumour suppressor gene TP53 are the most common genetic alterations involved in human cancer, our objective was to establish the first mutational pattern induced by benzene on the TP53 gene in human type II-like alveolar epithelial A549 cells by using the Functional Analysis of Separated Alleles in Yeast (FASAY). Seventeen mutations linked to benzene exposure were found: 3 one- or two-base deletions, and 14 single nucleotide substitutions (1 nonsense and 13 missense mutations). A>G and G>A transitions were the most prevalent (23.5% for both). Other mutations included A>C transversions and deletions (3/17, 17.6% for both), G>T transversions (2/17, 11.8%) and A>T transversions (1/17, 5.9%). Data arising from this benzene-induced mutational pattern affecting TP53, a critical target gene in human carcinogenesis, have been compared with those reported in human acute myeloid leukaemia, the aetiology of which is clearly linked to benzene exposure, and in experimental benzene-induced carcinoma. This comparison suggests that A>G transition could be a fingerprint of benzene exposure in tumours. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that FASAY is a promising tool for the study of the carcinogenic potency of benzene in the human lung.
Mutations in the TP53 gene are the most common alterations in human tumours. TP53 mutational patterns have sometimes been linked to carcinogen exposure. In hepatocellular carcinoma, a specific G>T transversion on codon 249 is classically described as a fingerprint of aflatoxin B(1) exposure. Likewise G>T transversions in codons 157 and 158 have been related to tobacco exposure in human lung cancers. However, controversies remain about the interpretation of TP53 mutational pattern in tumours as the fingerprint of genotoxin exposure. By using a functional assay, the Functional Analysis of Separated Alleles in Yeast (FASAY), the present study depicts the mutational pattern of TP53 in normal human fibroblasts after in vitro exposure to well-known carcinogens: benzo[a]pyrene, aflatoxin B(1) and acetaldehyde. These in vitro patterns of mutations were then compared to those found in human tumours by using the IARC database of TP53 mutations. The results show that the TP53 mutational patterns found in human tumours can be only partly ascribed to genotoxin exposure. A complex interplay between the functional impact of the mutations on p53 phenotype and the cancer natural history may affect these patterns. However, our results strongly support that genotoxins exposure plays a major role in the aetiology of the considered cancers.
Silica mesoporous nanoparticles have been recently selected for a wide range of applications from electronics to medicine due to their intrinsic properties. Among medical applications, drug delivery using SiO(2) nanoparticles by oral route is under study. Major benefits are expected including higher specificity and sensitivity together with side effect reduction. Since literature shows that very complex and unexpected interactions could occur between nanomaterials and biological systems, one critical issue is to control the nanoparticle cytotoxicity/genotoxicity for normal tissues and specially stomach and intestine when oral route is considered. The aim of the work is to study the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of SiO(2) nanoparticles on HT29 human intestine cell line, using conventional and innovative methodologies, for measuring cell viability and proliferation, global metabolism, genotoxicity, and nanoparticles uptake. Core-dye doped SiO(2) nanoparticles of 25 and 100 nm were specifically synthesized to track nanoparticles incorporation by confocal and video microscopy. Besides conventional approaches (sulforhodamine B, flow cytometry, and ?-H2Ax foci), we have performed a real-time monitoring of cell proliferation using an impedance-based system which ensure no interference between measures and nanoparticles physicochemical characteristics. Overall, our results showed that SiO(2)-25nm and SiO(2)-100nm induced a rather limited cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on HT-29 cells after a 24 h exposure. However, regarding cell viability and genotoxicity, inverse dose-dependent relationships were observed for SiO(2)-100nm nanoparticles. In conclusion, it seems that the higher the dose of SiO(2)-100nm, the lower the cytotoxic/genotoxic effects, data that well illustrate the complexity in identifying and understanding the hazards of nanoparticles for human health.
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