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Publication Detail

Title: Nickel-induced transcriptional changes persist  post exposure through epigenetic reprogramming.

Authors: Jose, Cynthia C; Wang, Zhenjia; Tanwar, Vinay Singh; Zhang, Xiaoru; Zang, Chongzhi; Cuddapah, Suresh

Published In Epigenetics Chromatin, (2019 12 19)

Abstract: Nickel is an occupational and environmental toxicant associated with a number of diseases in humans including pulmonary fibrosis, bronchitis and lung and nasal cancers. Our earlier studies showed that the nickel-exposure-induced genome-wide transcriptional changes, which persist even after the termination of exposure may underlie nickel pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms that drive nickel-induced persistent changes to the transcriptome remain elusive.To elucidate the mechanisms that underlie nickel-induced long-term transcriptional changes, in this study, we examined the transcriptome and the epigenome of human lung epithelial cells during nickel exposure and after the termination of exposure. We identified two categories of persistently differentially expressed genes: (i) the genes that were differentially expressed during nickel exposure; and (ii) the genes that were differentially expressed only after the termination of exposure. Interestingly, > 85% of the nickel-induced gene expression changes occurred only after the termination of exposure. We also found extensive genome-wide alterations to the activating histone modification, H3K4me3, after the termination of nickel exposure, which coincided with the post-exposure gene expression changes. In addition, we found significant post-exposure alterations to the repressive histone modification, H3K27me3.Our results suggest that while modest first wave of transcriptional changes occurred during nickel exposure, extensive transcriptional changes occurred during a second wave of transcription for which removal of nickel ions was essential. By uncovering a new category of transcriptional and epigenetic changes, which occur only after the termination of exposure, this study provides a novel understanding of the long-term deleterious consequences of nickel exposure on human health.

PubMed ID: 31856895 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Cell Line; DNA Methylation/drug effects; Down-Regulation/drug effects; Epigenesis, Genetic/drug effects*; Histones/metabolism; Humans; Nickel/toxicity*; Up-Regulation/drug effects

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