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Evaluation of DNA Methylation Changes and Micronuclei in Workers Exposed to a Construction Environment

1
Molecular Oncology Research Center, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos 14784-400, São Paulo, Brazil
2
Center for Research Support (NAP), Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos 14784-400, São Paulo, Brazil
3
Instituto de Química—USP, São Paulo 05508-000, Brazil
4
Instituto de Química—UFBA, Salvador 40170-115, Bahia, Brazil
5
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14040-903, São Paulo, Brazil
6
Epigenetics Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 150 Cours Albert-Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France
7
University of Cuiabá, Campus Beira Rio, Cuiabá 78008-000, Mato Grosso, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060902
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Methylation levels in tumor-suppressor genes and repetitive sequences have previously been used to study the relationship between environmental air pollution and epigenetic changes related to cancer. In this study, we measured the methylation profiles of the promoter regions CDKN2A, MLH1 and APC and the repetitive sequence LINE-1 in 59 workers exposed to the construction environment and in 49 unexposed workers. We also evaluated the micronuclei frequency and levels of trace elements in the blood of all workers. We evaluated of levels of particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the construction site to characterize the environmental exposure. Our findings demonstrated that exposed workers exhibited significantly higher average levels of promoter methylation of CDKN2A, APC, and MLH1 genes and increased hypomethylation of the LINE-1 in comparison to unexposed workers (all p < 0.05). A higher frequency of micronuclei was observed in the exposed group (2 ± 2) compared to the unexposed group (1 ± 1) with p < 0.001. High levels of particulate matter (51–841 μg/m3) and some PAHs were found in samples from the construction environment. In summary, we provide evidence of increased DNA damage and altered DNA methylation of exposed workers, suggesting that genomic approaches to biomonitoring may be an effective way of estimating future cancer risk for construction workers. View Full-Text
Keywords: construction workers; DNA methylation; micronuclei; metals; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons construction workers; DNA methylation; micronuclei; metals; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
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Silva, I.R.; Ramos, M.C.A.S.; Arantes, L.M.R.B.; Lengert, A.V.H.; Oliveira, M.A.; Cury, F.P.; Martins Pereira, G.; Santos, A.G.; Barbosa, F., Jr.; Vasconcellos, P.C.; Cuenin, C.; Herceg, Z.; Silveira, H.C. Evaluation of DNA Methylation Changes and Micronuclei in Workers Exposed to a Construction Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 902.

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