Special Issue "Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kun LU

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomarker development; DNA adducts; metabolomics; proteomics; microbiome
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert J. Turesky

Masonic Cancer Center and Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: metabolism; biomarkers; mass spectrometry; environmental toxicants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomarkers are commonly used to evaluate exposure and biological effects of environmental toxicants. Characterization and development of sensitive and robust biomarkers have remained active over the last few decades to study the toxicity of environmental toxicants and human disease. There is a are clear need to further discover, validate and apply biomarkers in toxicological research, population-based studies, risk assessment and beyond. This Special Issue on “Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants” will aim at highlighting the latest advances in biomarker-related research in a timely manner. Authors are invited to submit original research papers, reviews, and short communications.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Discovery or validation of new biomarkers of exposure and effects of environmental toxicants. These biomarkers could be DNA adducts, protein adducts, metabolites, enzymes, or any relevant biological molecules or indicators.
  2. Omics profiling, such as metabolomics and proteomics, to study the effects of environmental toxicants with the goal of developing potential biomarkers.
  3. Novel methods or assays for biomarker development.
  4. Development or analysis of compound- or organ-specific biomarkers.
  5. Development of microbiome as potential biomarkers.
  6. Characterization or measurement of biomarkers in human populations or selected cohorts.

Prof. Dr. Robert J. Turesky
Prof. Dr. Kun LU
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomarker
  • environmental toxicants
  • metabolomics
  • proteomics
  • method development
  • microbiome
  • population
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Biomonitoring of Urinary Benzene Metabolite SPMA in the General Population in Central Italy
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: Benzene is an important component of cigarette smoke and car exhaust. Products containing benzene in concentrations greater than 0.1% are prohibited in Europe, but 1% of benzene is still allowed in gasoline. The purpose of the study was to assess the levels
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Background: Benzene is an important component of cigarette smoke and car exhaust. Products containing benzene in concentrations greater than 0.1% are prohibited in Europe, but 1% of benzene is still allowed in gasoline. The purpose of the study was to assess the levels of urine benzene biomarkers in a sample of the general population not occupationally exposed to benzene, resident in the period 2013–2014 in Central Italy, compared to other groups. Methods: The urinary levels of the benzene metabolites S-phenyl-mercapturic acid (SPMA) and cotinine (nicotine metabolite) were determined by means of HPLC with mass spectrometric detection in 1076 subjects. Results: The median SPMA value in smokers was 1.132 µg/g of creatinine while in non-smokers it was 0.097 µg/g of creatinine, and the 95th percentile results were seven times higher. Conclusion: The main source of benzene exposure in the studied population was active smoking, however, non-smokers were also exposed to airborne benzene concentrations. The concentration ranges found in this study can be used as a background reference for occupational exposure assessment to benzene by means of SPMA biomonitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Hair Manganese, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic Levels in Environmentally Exposed Children
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Biomarkers of environmental metal exposure in children are important for elucidating exposure and health risk. While exposure biomarkers for As, Cd, and Pb are relatively well defined, there are not yet well-validated biomarkers of Mn exposure. Here, we measured hair Mn, Pb, Cd,
[...] Read more.
Biomarkers of environmental metal exposure in children are important for elucidating exposure and health risk. While exposure biomarkers for As, Cd, and Pb are relatively well defined, there are not yet well-validated biomarkers of Mn exposure. Here, we measured hair Mn, Pb, Cd, and As levels in children from the Mid-Ohio Valley to determine within and between-subject predictors of hair metal levels. Occipital scalp hair was collected in 2009–2010 from 222 children aged 6–12 years (169 female, 53 male) participating in a study of chemical exposure and neurodevelopment in an industrial region of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Hair samples from females were divided into three two centimeter segments, while males provided a single segment. Hair was cleaned and processed in a trace metal clean laboratory, and analyzed for As, Cd, Mn, and Pb by magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Hair Mn and Pb levels were comparable (median 0.11 and 0.15 µg/g, respectively) and were ~10-fold higher than hair Cd and As levels (0.007 and 0.018 µg/g, respectively). Hair metal levels were higher in males compared to females, and varied by ~100–1000-fold between all subjects, and substantially less (<40–70%) between segments within female subjects. Hair Mn, Pb, and Cd, but not As levels systematically increased by ~40–70% from the proximal to distal hair segments of females. There was a significant effect of season of hair sample collection on hair Mn, Pb, and Cd, but not As levels. Finally, hair metal levels reported here are ~2 to >10-fold lower than levels reported in other studies in children, most likely because of more rigorous hair cleaning methodology used in the present study, leading to lower levels of unresolved exogenous metal contamination of hair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissues—An Untapped Biospecimen for Biomonitoring DNA Adducts by Mass Spectrometry
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
The measurement of DNA adducts provides important information about human exposure to genotoxic chemicals and can be employed to elucidate mechanisms of DNA damage and repair. DNA adducts can serve as biomarkers for interspecies comparisons of the biologically effective dose of procarcinogens and
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The measurement of DNA adducts provides important information about human exposure to genotoxic chemicals and can be employed to elucidate mechanisms of DNA damage and repair. DNA adducts can serve as biomarkers for interspecies comparisons of the biologically effective dose of procarcinogens and permit extrapolation of genotoxicity data from animal studies for human risk assessment. One major challenge in DNA adduct biomarker research is the paucity of fresh frozen biopsy samples available for study. However, archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues with clinical diagnosis of disease are often available. We have established robust methods to recover DNA free of crosslinks from FFPE tissues under mild conditions which permit quantitative measurements of DNA adducts by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The technology is versatile and can be employed to screen for DNA adducts formed with a wide range of environmental and dietary carcinogens, some of which were retrieved from section-cuts of FFPE blocks stored at ambient temperature for up to nine years. The ability to retrospectively analyze FFPE tissues for DNA adducts for which there is clinical diagnosis of disease opens a previously untapped source of biospecimens for molecular epidemiology studies that seek to assess the causal role of environmental chemicals in cancer etiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
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