• The cancer chemopreventive actions of phytochemicals derived from glucosinolates.

      Hayes, John D.; Kelleher, Michael O.; Eggleston, Ian M. (2008-05)
      This article reviews the mechanisms by which glucosinolate breakdown products are thought to inhibit carcinogenesis. It describes how isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, nitriles, cyano-epithioalkanes and indoles are produced from glucosinolates through the actions of myrosinase, epithiospecifier protein and epithiospecifier modifier protein released from cruciferous vegetables during injury to the plant. The various biological activities displayed by these phytochemicals are described. In particular, their abilities to induce cytoprotective genes, mediated by the Nrf2 (NF-E2 related factor 2) and AhR (arylhydrocarbon receptor) transcription factors, and their abilities to repress NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB) activity, inhibit histone deacetylase, and inhibit cytochrome P450 are outlined. Isothiocyanates appear to alter gene expression through modification of critical thiols in regulatory proteins such as Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1) or IKK (IkappaB kinase), causing activation of Nrf2 and inactivation of NF-kappaB, respectively. Certain indoles act as ligands for AhR. Isothiocyanates and indoles are also capable of affecting cell cycle arrest and stimulating apoptosis. The mechanisms responsible for these anti-proliferative responses are discussed.
    • Cereal fiber intake may reduce risk of gastric adenocarcinomas: the EPIC-EURGAST study.

      Mendez, Michelle A.; Pera, Guillem; Agudo, Antonio; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas; Palli, Domenico; Boeing, Heiner; Carneiro, Fatima; Berrino, Franco; Sacerdote, Carlotta; Tumino, Rosario; et al. (2007-10-01)
      Numerous case-control studies suggest dietary fiber may reduce risk of gastric cancer, but this has not been confirmed prospectively. A previous case-control study reported reduced risk of gastric cardia adenocarcinomas associated with cereal fiber, but not with fruit or vegetable fiber. To date, different food sources of fiber have not been examined with respect to noncardia tumors or diverse histologic sub-types. This study prospectively examines associations between fiber from different food sources and incident gastric adenocarcinomas (GC) among more than 435,000 subjects from 10 countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Subjects aged 25-70 years completed dietary questionnaires in 1992-98, and were followed up for a median of 6.7 years. About 312 incident GCs were observed. The relative risk of GC was estimated based on cohort-wide sex-specific fiber intake quartiles using proportional hazards models to estimate hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Intakes of cereal fiber, but not total, fruit or vegetable fiber, were associated with reduced GC risk [adjusted HR for the highest vs. lowest quartile of cereal fiber 0.69, 0.48-0.99]. There was a strong inverse association for diffuse [HR 0.43, 0.22-0.86], but not intestinal type [HR 0.98, 0.54-1.80] tumors. Associations for cardia vs. noncardia tumors were similar to those for overall GC, although cardia associations did not reach significance. Cereal fiber consumption may help to reduce risk of GC, particularly diffuse type tumors. Further study on different food sources of fiber in relation to GC risk is warranted to confirm these relationships.
    • Challenges from new technologies and new biomarkers.

      Vineis, Paolo; Vermeulen, Roel; Geneletti, Sara; Minelli, Cosetta; Taioli, Emanuela; Thompson, John; Stromberg, Ulf; Kirsch-Volders, Micheline; Raluca, Mateuca; Matullo, Giuseppe (The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2007)
    • Chromosomal changes: induction, detection methods and applicability in human biomonitoring.

      Mateuca, R.; Lombaert, N.; Aka, P.V.; Decordier, I.; Kirsch-Volders, M. (2006-11)
      The objective of this state of the art paper is to review the mechanisms of induction, the fate, the methodology, the sensitivity/specificity and predictivity of two major cytogenetic endpoints applied for genotoxicity studies and biomonitoring purposes: chromosome aberrations and micronuclei. Chromosomal aberrations (CAs) are changes in normal chromosome structure or number that can occur spontaneously or as a result of chemical/radiation treatment. Structural CAs in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), as assessed by the chromosome aberration (CA) assay, have been used for over 30 years in occupational and environmental settings as a biomarker of early effects of genotoxic carcinogens. A high frequency of structural CAs in lymphocytes (reporter tissue) is predictive of increased cancer risk, irrespective of the cause of the initial CA increase. Micronuclei (MN) are small, extranuclear bodies that arise in dividing cells from acentric chromosome/chromatid fragments or whole chromosomes/chromatids that lag behind in anaphase and are not included in the daughter nuclei in telophase. The cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay is the most extensively used method for measuring MN in human lymphocytes, and can be considered as a "cytome" assay covering cell proliferation, cell death and chromosomal changes. The key advantages of the CBMN assay lie in its ability to detect both clastogenic and aneugenic events and to identify cells which divided once in culture. Evaluation of the mechanistic origin of individual MN by centromere and kinetochore identification contributes to the high sensitivity of the method. A number of findings support the hypothesis of a predictive association between the frequency of MN in cytokinesis-blocked lymphocytes and cancer development. Recent advances in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and microarray technologies are modifying the nature of cytogenetics, allowing chromosome and gene identification on metaphase as well as in interphase. Automated scoring by flow cytometry and/or image analysis will enhance their applicability.
    • Circadian rhythms and chemical carcinogenesis: Potential link. An overview.

      Oesch-Bartlomowicz, Barbara; Weiss, Carsten; Dietrich, Cornelia; Oesch, Franz (2009-11)
      Circadian rhythm is an integral and not replaceable part of the organism's homeostasis. Its signalling is multidimensional, overlooking global networks such as chromatin remodelling, cell cycle, DNA damage and repair as well as nuclear receptors function. Understanding its global networking will allow us to follow up not only organism dysfunction and pathology (including chemical carcinogenesis) but well-being in general having in mind that time is not always on our side.
    • Circulating free DNA in plasma or serum as biomarker of carcinogenesis: practical aspects and biological significance.

      Gormally, Emmanuelle; Caboux, Elodie; Vineis, Paolo; Hainaut, Pierre (2008-08-27)
      The presence of small amounts of tumor DNA in cell free DNA (CFDNA) circulating in the plasma or serum of cancer patients was first demonstrated 30 years ago. Since then, overall plasma DNA concentration in cancer patients and genetic or epigenetic alterations specific to tumor DNA have been investigated in patients diagnosed with different types of cancer. The proportion of patients with altered CFDNA varies with the pathology and the nature of the marker. However, several studies have reported the presence of altered CFDNA in over 50% of cancer patients, suggesting that this marker may be common and amenable for a variety of clinical and epidemiological studies. Because the mechanisms and timing of CFDNA release in the blood stream are poorly understood, only few studies have addressed the use of CFDNA for early cancer detection or as a biomarker for mutagenesis and tumourigenesis in molecular epidemiology. In this review, we discuss the technical issues involved in obtaining, using and analyzing CFDNA in cancer or healthy subjects. We also summarize the literature available on the mechanisms of CDNA release as well as on cross-sectional or prospective studies aimed at assessing the clinical and biological significance of CFDNA. These studies show that, in some circumstances, CFDNA alterations are detectable ahead of cancer diagnosis, raising the possibility of exploiting them as biomarkers for monitoring cancer occurrence. Testing these hypotheses will require well-designed studies, assessing multiple markers with quantitative and sensitive methods, with adequate follow-up of subjects, and we provide recommendations for the development of such studies.
    • Combination of azathioprine and UVA irradiation is a major source of cellular 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine.

      Cooke, Marcus S.; Duarte, Tiago L.; Cooper, Deborah; Chen, Jie; Nandagopal, Sridevi; Evans, Mark D. (2008-12-01)
      Thiopurine antimetabolites, such as azathioprine (Aza) and 6-thioguanine (6-TG), are widely used in the treatment of cancer, inflammatory conditions and organ transplantation patients. Recent work has shown that cells treated with 6-TG and UVA generate ROS, with implied oxidatively generated modification of DNA. In a study of urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in renal transplant patients, we provided the first in vivo evidence linking Aza and oxidatively damaged DNA. Using the hOGG1 comet assay, we herein demonstrate high levels of 8-oxodG and alkali-labile sites (ALS) in cells treated with biologically relevant doses of 6-TG, or Aza, plus UVA. This damage was induced dose-dependently. Surprisingly, given the involvement of 6-TG incorporation into DNA in its therapeutic effect, significant amounts of 8-oxodG and ALS were induced in quiescent cells, although less than in proliferating cells. We speculate that some activity of hOGG1 towards unirradiated, 6-TG treated cells, implies possible recognition of 6-TG or derivatives thereof. This is the first report to conclusively demonstrate oxidatively damaged DNA in cells treated with thiopurines and UVA. These data indicate that Aza-derived oxidative stress will occur in the skin of patients on Aza, following even low level UVA exposure. This is a probable contributor to the increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer in these patients. However, as oxidative stress is unlikely to be involved in the therapeutic effects of Aza, intercepting ROS production in the skin could be a viable route by which this side effect may be minimised.
    • The comet assay in nanotoxicology research.

      Karlsson, Hanna L. (2010-09)
      Nanoscale particles can have impressive and useful characteristics, but the same properties may be problematic for human health. From this perspective it is critical to assess the ability of nanoparticles to cause DNA damage. This review focuses on the use of the comet assay in nanotoxicology research. In the alkaline version of the assay, DNA strand breaks and alkali-labile sites are detected and oxidatively damaged DNA can be analyzed using the enzyme formamidopyrimidine glycosylase. The article reviews studies that have used the comet assay to investigate the toxicity of manufactured nanoparticles. It is shown that at least 46 cellular in vitro studies and several in vivo studies have used the comet assay and that the majority of the nanoparticles tested cause DNA strand breaks or oxidative DNA lesions. This is not surprising considering the sensitivity of the method and the reactivity of many nanomaterials. Interactions between the particles and the assay cannot be totally excluded and need further consideration. It is concluded that studies including several particle types, to enable the assessment of their relative potency, are valuable as are studies focusing both on comet assay end points and mutagenicity. Finally, the article discusses the potential future use of the comet assay in human biomonitoring studies, which could provide valuable information for hazard identification of nanoparticles.
    • Comments and suggestions for future work.

      The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2007
    • Comparison of genotoxic and inflammatory effects of particles generated by wood combustion, a road simulator and collected from street and subway.

      Karlsson, Hanna L.; Ljungman, Anders G.; Lindbom, John; Moller, Lennart (2006-09-10)
      The health effects of exposure to airborne particles are of increasing concern in society. In order to protect public health, a clarification of the toxic properties of particles from different sources is of importance. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the genotoxicity and the ability to induce inflammatory mediators of nine different particle types from wood and pellets combustion, from tire-road wear and collected from an urban street and a subway station. The comet assay was used to assess genotoxicity after exposure of the human lung cell line A549. Inflammatory effects were measured as induction of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha after exposure of human macrophages. We found that all particles tested caused DNA damage and those from the subway caused more damage than the other particles (p<0.001) likely due to redox-active iron. In contrast, particles collected from an urban street were most potent to induce inflammatory cytokines. Particles from tire-road wear collected using a road simulator were genotoxic and able to induce cytokines. Finally, more effective combustion of wood led to less emission of particles, but those emitted did not show less toxicity in this study.
    • Concentrations of resveratrol and derivatives in foods and estimation of dietary intake in a Spanish population: European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort.

      Zamora-Ros, Raul; Andres-Lacueva, Cristina; Lamuela-Raventos, Rosa M.; Berenguer, Toni; Jakszyn, Paula; Martinez, Carmen; Sanchez, Maria J.; Navarro, Carmen; Chirlaque, Maria D.; Tormo, Maria-Jose; et al. (2008-07)
      Resveratrol has been shown to have beneficial effects on diseases related to oxidant and/or inflammatory processes and extends the lifespan of simple organisms including rodents. The objective of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of resveratrol and piceid (R&P) present in foods, and to identify the principal dietary sources of these compounds in the Spanish adult population. For this purpose, a food composition database (FCDB) of R&P in Spanish foods was compiled. The study included 40,685 subjects aged 35-64 years from northern and southern regions of Spain who were included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort. Usual food intake was assessed by personal interviews using a computerised version of a validated diet history method. An FCDB with 160 items was compiled. The estimated median and mean of R&P intake were 100 and 933 microg/d respectively. Approximately, 32% of the population did not consume R&P. The most abundant of the four stilbenes studied was trans-piceid (53.6%), followed by trans-resveratrol (20.9%), cis-piceid (19.3%) and cis-resveratrol (6.2%). The most important source of R&P was wines (98.4%) and grape and grape juices (1.6%), whereas peanuts, pistachios and berries contributed to less than 0.01%. For this reason the pattern of intake of R&P was similar to the wine pattern. This is the first time that R&P intake has been estimated in a Mediterranean country.
    • Conclusions.

      Farmer, Peter (The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2007)
    • Concordance between the deduced acetylation status generated by high-speed: real-time PCR based NAT2 genotyping of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms and human NAT2 phenotypes determined by a caffeine assay.

      Rihs, Hans-Peter; John, Andrea; Scherenberg, Michael; Seidel, Albrecht; Bruning, Thomas (2007-02)
      BACKGROUND: The utility of typing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the determination of the N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) acetylation status is a matter of debate. AIMS OF THE STUDY: Evaluation of the concordance between deduced genotype results of seven human NAT2 SNPs generated by Real-time PCR analysis and human NAT2 phenotypes. METHODS: NAT2 phenotypes of 38 Caucasian workers were determined using a suitable caffeine test method. Genomic DNA aliquots were used for the determination of seven human NAT2-specific SNPs (G191A, C282T, T341C, C481T, G590A, A803G, G857A). RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Phenotypic results based on the molar ratio of 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil (AFMU)/(AFMU+1-methlyuric acid (1U)+1-methylxanthine (1X)) calculated from excreted caffeine metabolite levels in urine samples with 0.3 as a cut-off point between slow (<0.3) and rapid acetylators (>or=0.3). Twenty-seven samples belonged to the slow (mean 0.13; range: 0.03-0.25), 11 to the rapid (mean: 0.41; range: 0.34-0.48) acetylators. LightCycler analyses revealed 11 different NAT2 variant combinations, whereby *5B/*5B and *5B/*6A or *5A/*6C (each 21%), were the most frequent. The deduced acetylation status of the seven NAT2 SNPs matched perfectly with the 38 results determined by phenotyping. This study showed a 100% concordance between NAT2 phenotypes and the deduced NAT2 genotypes and the suitability of the high-speed NAT2-specific LightCycler analysis in a Caucasian population.
    • Consumption of cruciferous vegetables and glucosinolates in a Spanish adult population.

      Agudo, A.; Ibanez, R.; Amiano, P.; Ardanaz, E.; Barricarte, A.; Berenguer, A.; Dolores Chirlaque, M.; Dorronsoro, M.; Jakszyn, P.; Larranaga, N.; et al. (2008-03)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the intake of glucosinolates and cruciferous vegetables among Spanish adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of a prospective cohort study. SETTING: The Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Subjects: We analysed data from 40 684 men and women aged 35-64 years from the EPIC-Spain cohort. The usual diet was assessed by means of the dietary history method, and glucosinolate intake was calculated using a published food composition database. RESULTS: The average intake of cruciferous vegetables was 11.3 g/day, accounting for about 5% of total vegetable consumption, whereas the daily intake of total glucosinolates was 6.5 mg, among which 35% were of indole type. The absolute intake of glucosinolates was in average higher in men than in women (6.8 vs 6.2 mg/day), whereas glucosinolate density per energy unit was higher in women's diet (3.4 vs 2.7 mg/4200 kJ). Northern regions consumed in average 36% more glucosinolates than Southern regions (7.3 vs 5.4 mg/day). There was a positive association of glucosinolate intake with body mass index, physical activity, educational level and an inverse relationship with alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to the pattern seen for total vegetable intake, our estimate of consumption of cruciferous vegetables, and hence of glucosinolates, is relatively low within Europe, which in turn is lower than in North America and several Asian populations.
    • Copper oxide nanoparticles are highly toxic: a comparison between metal oxide nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes.

      Karlsson, Hanna L.; Cronholm, Pontus; Gustafsson, Johanna; Moller, Lennart (2008-09)
      Since the manufacture and use of nanoparticles are increasing, humans are more likely to be exposed occupationally or via consumer products and the environment. However, so far toxicity data for most manufactured nanoparticles are limited. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare different nanoparticles and nanotubes regarding cytotoxicity and ability to cause DNA damage and oxidative stress. The study was focused on different metal oxide particles (CuO, TiO2, ZnO, CuZnFe2O4, Fe3O4, Fe2O3), and the toxicity was compared to that of carbon nanoparticles and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The human lung epithelial cell line A549 was exposed to the particles, and cytotoxicity was analyzed using trypan blue staining. DNA damage and oxidative lesions were determined using the comet assay, and intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured using the oxidation-sensitive fluoroprobe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA). The results showed that there was a high variation among different nanoparticles concerning their ability to cause toxic effects. CuO nanoparticles were most potent regarding cytotoxicity and DNA damage. The toxicity was likely not explained by Cu ions released to the cell medium. These particles also caused oxidative lesions and were the only particles that induced an almost significant increase (p = 0.058) in intracellular ROS. ZnO showed effects on cell viability as well as DNA damage, whereas the TiO2 particles (a mix of rutile and anatase) only caused DNA damage. For iron oxide particles (Fe3O4, Fe2O3), no or low toxicity was observed, but CuZnFe2O4 particles were rather potent in inducing DNA lesions. Finally, the carbon nanotubes showed cytotoxic effects and caused DNA damage in the lowest dose tested. The effects were not explained by soluble metal impurities. In conclusion, this study highlights the in vitro toxicity of CuO nanoparticles.
    • Correlation between biomarkers of human exposure to genotoxins with focus on carcinogen-DNA adducts.

      Gyorffy, Erika; Anna, Livia; Kovacs, Katalin; Rudnai, Peter; Schoket, Bernadette (2008-01)
      Correlations among biomarkers, an important issue in biomarker research, provide enhanced insight and understanding of the complexity of molecular mechanisms initiated by environmental genotoxic agents in the human organism. Occupational and environmental exposures mostly represent mixtures of genotoxic agents, whereas the specificity of biomarker measurements varies widely. Here, we give an overview of the correlation studies with particular emphasis on DNA adduct biomarker analysis of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and/or tobacco smoke. We have collected data on correlations between different DNA adduct detection methods, DNA adduct structures and DNA adduct levels in human tissues. Data are also presented on the correlation between DNA adducts and other biomarkers of exposure and of early biological effects, including protein adducts, urinary metabolites and cytogenetic end points. In numerous studies, 32P-postlabelling and immunoassay measurements of DNA adducts recognized the difference between exposure groups similarly; however, at the individual level, there was, in general, not a statistically significant correlation between the two determinations. Inconsistency was found regarding the correlation between the levels of total bulky adducts and specific single DNA adduct structures. A number of studies found a positive correlation between DNA adduct levels in target and surrogate tissues, although stratification for exposure level may have influenced the results. Characteristically, there was a positive correlation between DNA adduct levels in tumour and normal tissue pairs. In general, there was a lack of correlation between DNA adducts and urinary PAH metabolites, but after stratification for particular genetic polymorphisms correlation may have emerged between the two biomarkers of exposure. The correlations with cytogenetic biomarkers were very complex, with examples of both positive correlation and lack of correlation. Exploration of correlations among biomarkers contributes to the further progress of molecular cancer epidemiology and to the selection of the optimal biomarkers for the investigation of human exposure to carcinogens.
    • Correlations among biomarkers.

      Gyorffy, Erika; Anna, Livia; Rudnai, Peter; Kovacs, Katalin; Schocket, Bernadette (The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2006)
      An extensive literature survey on correlation of biomarkers resulted in the following preliminary conclusions: • No significant correlation between individual pairs of DNA adducts was found in a number of the 32P-postlabelling and immunoassay studies, indicating limited overlapping of the substrate specificity of the different DNA adduct methods. • Attempts to show correlations between a group of related DNA adduct structures and a chemically specific single DNA adduct structure by using the same type of methodology gave controversial results. These suggest the co-existence of both closely linked and independent metabolic activation pathways for complex mixtures of xenobiotics, and may also reflect differences in the kinetics of DNA adduct formation and elimination. • A larger number of studies revealed a positive correlation between DNA adduct levels in target and surrogate tissues than did not find a correlation. Correlation may depend on exposure dose and the metabolic capacity of the corresponding tissues. • In the majority of the studies there was a positive correlation between DNA adduct levels in tumour and normal tissues, suggesting similarities in the xenobiotic activation/elimination processes of the tumour and normal tissues. However, the levels of DNA adducts found suggested organ specificity. • There was a positive correlation for different urinary metabolites and urinary mutagenicity in most of the studies. • No correlation between DNA adducts and urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites was generally found, but stratification by genotype suggested that correlation might be present. • Correlation was more probable between structurally specified protein adducts and urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolite 1-hydroxypyrene than with less specific xenobiotic-protein structures. • Stratification of the study population for confounding factors, such as smoking status, may reveal hidden correlations. • Cytogenetic biomarker studies also gave complex results. Examples of both positive correlation and lack of correlation with exposure markers were found. Molecular epidemiological studies of cancer that include exposure biomarkers have greatly increased in number in recent years, the rationale being to measure the biologically relevant aspect(s) of exposure. However, the use of biomarkers to measure exposure is not a panacea. Most biomarker-based studies, of both prospective and retrospective design, rely on a single biological sample. Most exposures in cancer epidemiology are time-related variables, and both carcinogenesis models and empirical evidence strongly point towards the importance of induction and latency periods in cancer onset, the need to separate the role of duration and intensity of exposure, and the decrease in effect after cessation of exposure. While most biomarkers measure recent exposure, it is possible to apply them in the measurement of temporal changes, e.g. by collecting repeated samples from subjects enrolled in prospective studies or from a sample of the original cohort. Another important parameter is the in vivo lifetime of the biomarker after it has been generated by a carcinogen exposure. Biomarker-based epidemiological results are subject to the methodological problems affecting all types of observational studies, namely bias and confounding. A further problem in the measurement of exposure biomarkers in retrospective studies is their possible dependence on the disease process. With the increasing use of biomarkers of dose and effect of carcinogens and the possible input of these data into the regulatory area, it is essential that the methodology be standardised and wherever possible internationally accepted protocols be established for this. The need to validate exposure biomarkers before their application in population-based studies arises from the variability in biomarker-based measurements of exposure, which can be due to interindividual sources (e.g. differences between exposed and unexposed individuals, usually the component of variability of primary interest), intraindividual sources (e.g. variability in hormonal levels) and observer sources, including measurement error. This is the domain of so-called transitional studies, which aim to characterise the biomarker itself rather than the underlying biological phenomenon. This is the area in which most work is needed in the near future: efforts such as the ECNIS Network of Excellence will be instrumental in providing a logical framework for the development and validation of biomarkers of exposure with the ultimate goal of their application in molecular epidemiological studies. • There was a positive correlation for different urinary metabolites and urinary mutagenicity in most of the studies. • No correlation between DNA adducts and urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites was generally found, but stratification by genotype suggested that correlation might be present. • Correlation was more probable between structurally specified protein adducts and urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolite 1-hydroxypyrene than with less specific xenobiotic-protein structures. • Stratification of the study population for confounding factors, such as smoking status, may reveal hidden correlations. • Cytogenetic biomarker studies also gave complex results. Examples of both positive correlation and lack of correlation with exposure markers were found. Molecular epidemiological studies of cancer that include exposure biomarkers have greatly increased in number in recent years, the rationale being to measure the biologically relevant aspect(s) of exposure. However, the use of biomarkers to measure exposure is not a panacea. Most biomarker-based studies, of both prospective and retrospective design, rely on a single biological sample. Most exposures in cancer epidemiology are time-related variables, and both carcinogenesis models and empirical evidence strongly point towards the importance of induction and latency periods in cancer onset, the need to separate the role of duration and intensity of exposure, and the decrease in effect after cessation of exposure. While most biomarkers measure recent exposure, it is possible to apply them in the measurement of temporal changes, e.g. by collecting repeated samples from subjects enrolled in prospective studies or from a sample of the original cohort. Another important parameter is the in vivo lifetime of the biomarker after it has been generated by a carcinogen exposure. Biomarker-based epidemiological results are subject to the methodological problems affecting all types of observational studies, namely bias and confounding. A further problem in the measurement of exposure biomarkers in retrospective studies is their possible dependence on the disease process. With the increasing use of biomarkers of dose and effect of carcinogens and the possible input of these data into the regulatory area, it is essential that the methodology be standardised and wherever possible internationally accepted protocols be established for this. The need to validate exposure biomarkers before their application in population-based studies arises from the variability in biomarker-based measurements of exposure, which can be due to interindividual sources (e.g. differences between exposed and unexposed individuals, usually the component of variability of primary interest), intraindividual sources (e.g. variability in hormonal levels) and observer sources, including measurement error. This is the domain of so-called transitional studies, which aim to characterise the biomarker itself rather than the underlying biological phenomenon. This is the area in which most work is needed in the near future: efforts such as the ECNIS Network of Excellence will be instrumental in providing a logical framework for the development and validation of biomarkers of exposure with the ultimate goal of their application in molecular epidemiological studies.
    • Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase deficiency in mice leads to organ-specific increase in oxidatively damaged DNA and NF-κB1 protein activity.

      Siomek, Agnieszka; Brzoska, Kamil; Sochanowicz, Barbara; Gackowski, Daniel; Rozalski, Rafal; Foksinski, Marek; Zarakowska, Ewelina; Szpila, Anna; Guz, Jolanta; Bartlomiejczyk, Teresa; et al. (2010)
      Earlier experimental studies have demonstrated that: i) Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase deficiency leads to oxidative stress and carcinogenesis; ii) dysregulation of NF-κB pathway can mediate a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. Therefore, we decided, for the first time, to examine the level of oxidative DNA damage and the DNA binding activity of NF-κB proteins in SOD1 knockout, heterozygous and wild-type mice. Two kinds of biomarkers of oxidatively damaged DNA: urinary excretion of 8-oxodG and 8-oxoGua, and the level of oxidatively damaged DNA were analysed using HPLC-GC-MS and HPLC-EC. The DNA binding activity of p50 and p65 proteins in a nuclear extracts was assessed using NF-κB p50/p65 EZ-TFA transcription factor assay. These parameters were determined in the brain, liver, kidney and urine of SOD1 knockout, heterozygous and wild-type mice. The level of 8-oxodG in DNA was higher in the liver and kidney of knockout mice than in wild type. No differences were found in urinary excretion of 8-oxoGua and 8-oxodG between wild type and the SOD1-deficient animals. The activity of the p50 protein was higher in the kidneys, but surprisingly not in the livers of SOD1-deficient mice, whereas p65 activity did not show any variability. Our results indicate that in Cu,Zn-SOD-deficient animals the level of oxidative DNA damage and NF-κB1 activity are elevated in certain organs only, which may provide some explanation for organ-specific ROS-induced carcinogenesis.
    • CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 genetic polymorphisms, smoking and breast cancer risk in a Finnish Caucasian population.

      Sillanpaa, Pia; Heikinheimo, Liisa; Kataja, Vesa; Eskelinen, Matti; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Uusitupa, Matti; Vainio, Harri; Metsola, Katja; Hirvonen, Ari (2007-09)
      We investigated the associations between two CYP1A1 polymorphisms (Ile462Val and Thr461Asn) and one CYP1B1 polymorphism (Leu432Val) and breast cancer risk. The study population consisted of 483 breast cancer patients and 482 healthy population controls, all of homogenous Finnish origin. No statistically significant overall associations were found between the CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 genotypes and breast cancer risk. However, a significant increase in the breast cancer risk was seen for women who had smoked 1-9 cigarettes/day and carried the CYP1B1 432Val allele; the OR was 2.6 (95% CI 1.07-6.46) for women carrying the Leu/Val genotype and 5.1 (95% CI 1.30-19.89, P for trend 0.005) for women with the Val/Val genotype compared to similarly smoking women homozygous for the 432Leu allele. Furthermore, when CYP1B1 genotypes were combined with the previously analyzed N-acetyl transferase (NAT2) genotypes, a significant increase in breast cancer risk was found among women who had at least one CYP1B1 432Val allele together with the NAT2 slow acetylator genotype (OR 1.52; 95% CI 1.03-2.24) compared to women carrying a combination of CYP1B1 Leu/Leu and NAT2 rapid acetylator genotypes. This risk was seen to be confined to ever smokers; the OR was 2.46 (95% CI 1.11-5.45) for ever smokers carrying at least one CYP1B1 432Val allele together with the NAT2 slow acetylator genotype compared to ever smokers with the CYP1B1 Leu/Leu and NAT2 rapid acetylator genotype combination. Our results suggest that the CYP1B1 polymorphism may be an important modifier of breast cancer risk in Finnish Caucasian women who have been exposed to tobacco smoke and/or carry the NAT2 slow acetylator genotype.