Title: Regulation of Chromatin Assembly and Cell Transformation by Formaldehyde Exposure in Human Cells.
Authors: Chen, Danqi; Fang, Lei; Mei, Shenglin; Li, Hongjie; Xu, Xia; Des Marais, Thomas L; Lu, Kun; Liu, X Shirley; Jin, Chunyuan
Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2017 09 21)
Abstract: Formaldehyde (FA) is an environmental and occupational chemical carcinogen. Recent studies have shown that exogenous FA causes only a modest increase in DNA adduct formation compared with the amount of adducts formed by endogenous FA, raising the possibility that epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to FA-mediated carcinogenicity.We investigated the effects of FA exposure on histone modifications and chromatin assembly. We also examined the role of defective chromatin assembly in FA-mediated transcription and cell transformation.Cellular fractionation and Western blot analysis were used to measure the levels of histone modifications in human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells and human nasal RPMI2650 cells in the presence of FA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digest assays were performed to examine the changes in chromatin assembly and accessibility after FA exposure. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to examine transcriptional dysregulation. Finally, anchorage-independent cell growth ability was tested by soft agar assay following FA exposure.Exposure to FA dramatically decreased the acetylation of the N-terminal tails of cytosolic histones. These modifications are important for histone nuclear import and subsequent chromatin assembly. Histone proteins were depleted in both the chromatin fraction and at most of the genomic loci tested following FA exposure, suggesting that FA compromises chromatin assembly. Moreover, FA increased chromatin accessibility and altered the expression of hundreds of cancer-related genes. Knockdown of the histone H3.3 gene (an H3 variant), which mimics inhibition of chromatin assembly, facilitated FA-mediated anchorage-independent cell growth.We propose that the inhibition of chromatin assembly represents a novel mechanism of cell transformation induced by the environmental and occupational chemical carcinogen FA. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1275.
PubMed ID: 28937961
MeSH Terms: Carcinogenicity Tests; Cell Line, Tumor; Cell Transformation, Neoplastic/chemically induced*; Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly/physiology*; Formaldehyde/toxicity*; Hazardous Substances/toxicity*; Humans