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Original Research

A Systems Toxicology-based Approach Reveals Biological Pathways Dysregulated by Prenatal Arsenic Exposure

Authors:

Jessica E. Laine ,

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
About Jessica E.
MS
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Rebecca C. Fry

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
About Rebecca C.
PhD
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Abstract

Background

Prenatal exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) is associated with dysregulated fetal gene and protein expression. Potential biological mechanisms that underlie these changes include, but are not limited to, changes to the epigenome.

Objective

The aim of the present study was to identify whether the expression of key genes, proteins, or both and their associated biological pathways are perturbed by compiling datasets from studies on prenatal arsenic exposure.

Methods

We compiled datasets from 12 studies that analyzed the relationship between prenatal iAs exposure and changes to the fetal epigenome (5-methyl cytosine), transcriptome (mRNA expression), and/or proteome (protein expression).

Findings

Across the 12 studies, a set of 845 unique genes was identified and found to enrich for their role in biological pathways, including the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, and the glucocorticoid receptorTumor necrosis factor was identified as a putative cellular regulator underlying most (n = 277) of the identified iAs-associated gene or protein expression changes.

Conclusions

The identification of the common set of genes across numerous human cohorts suggests a conserved biological response to prenatal arsenic exposure. The genes/proteins and their associated pathways may be useful in future mechanistic investigations of iAs associated diseases.

How to Cite: Laine, J.E. and Fry, R.C., 2016. A Systems Toxicology-based Approach Reveals Biological Pathways Dysregulated by Prenatal Arsenic Exposure. Annals of Global Health, 82(1), pp.189–196. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2016.01.015
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Published on 17 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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