3 research outputs found

    Molecular toxicity of cerium oxide nanoparticles to the freshwater alga <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i> is associated with supra-environmental exposure concentrations

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    <p>Ceria nanoparticles (NPs) are widely used as fuel catalysts and consequently are likely to enter the environment. Their potential impacts on. biota at environmentally relevant concentrations, including uptake and toxicity, remain to be elucidated and quantitative data on which to assess risk are sparse. Therefore, a definitive assessment of the molecular and phenotypic effects of ceria NPs was undertaken, using well-characterised mono-dispersed NPs as their toxicity is likely to be higher, enabling a conservative hazard assessment. Unbiased transcriptomics and metabolomics approaches were used to investigate the potential toxicity of tightly constrained 4–5 nm ceria NPs to the unicellular green alga, <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i>, a sentinel freshwater species. A wide range of exposure concentrations were investigated from predicted environmental levels, to support hazard assessment, to supra-environmental levels to provide insight into molecular toxicity pathways. Ceria NPs were internalised into intracellular vesicles within <i>C. reinhardtii</i>, yet caused no significant effect on algal growth at any exposure concentration. Molecular perturbations were only detected at supra-environmental ceria NP-concentrations, primarily down-regulation of photosynthesis and carbon fixation with associated effects on energy metabolism. For acute exposures to small mono-dispersed particles, it can be concluded there should be little concern regarding their dispersal into the environment for this trophic level.</p

    Disruption of DNA Methylation via <i>S</i>‑Adenosylhomocysteine Is a Key Process in High Incidence Liver Carcinogenesis in Fish

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    Interactions between epigenome and the environment in biology and in disease are of fundamental importance. The incidence of hepatocellular adenomas in flatfish exceeds 20% in some environments forming a unique opportunity to study environmental tumorigenesis of general relevance to cancer in humans. We report the novel finding of marked DNA methylation and metabolite concentration changes in histopathologically normal tissue distal to tumors in fish liver. A multi-“omics” discovery approach led to targeted and quantitative gene transcription analyses and metabolite analyses of hepatocellular adenomas and histologically normal liver tissue in the same fish. We discovered a remarkable and consistent global DNA hypomethylation, modification of DNA methylation and gene transcription, and disruption of one-carbon metabolism in distal tissue compared to livers of non-tumor-bearing fish. The mechanism of this disruption is linked not to depletion of <i>S</i>-adenosylmethionine, as is often a feature of mammalian tumors, but to a decrease in choline and elevated <i>S</i>-adenosylhomocysteine, a potent inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase. This novel feature of normal-appearing tissue of tumor-bearing fish helps to understand the unprecedentedly high incidence of tumors in fish sampled from the field and adds weight to the controversial epigenetic progenitor model of tumorigenesis. With further studies, the modifications may offer opportunities as biomarkers of exposure to environmental factors influencing disease