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Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals

Persistent organic pollutants and promoter hypermethylation of the O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase gene.


PMID 25585924

Abstract

Promoter hypermethylation of the O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) DNA repair gene is important during carcinogenesis. We explored whether organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were associated with hypermethylation of the MGMT gene promoter in peripheral leukocytes among 368 Koreans without cancer. Hypermethylation decreased as OCPs increased (Ptrend = 0.02), while PCB concentrations showed an inverted U-shaped association (Pquadratic < 0.01). The prevalence of MGMT promoter hypermethylation was highest within the 2nd quintile of the PCB summary score (28.4%), while it was only 2.7% in the upper 10% score. Chronic exposure to these chemicals may affect methylation of the MGMT promoter, with possibly non-monotonic dose response relationships.