Gene expression profiles and genetic damage in benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide-exposed TK6 cells

G S Akerman, B A Rosenzweig, O E Domon, L J McGarrity, L R Blankenship, C A Tsai, S J Culp, J T MacGregor, F D Sistare, J J Chen, S M Morris
Mutation Research 2004 May 18, 549 (1): 43-64
Microarray analysis is a powerful tool to identify the biological effects of drugs or chemicals on cellular gene expression. In this study, we compare the relationships between traditional measures of genetic toxicology and mutagen-induced alterations in gene expression profiles. TK6 cells were incubated with 0.01, 0.1, or 1.0 microM +/-anti-benzo(a)pyrene-trans-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide (BPDE) for 4 h and then cultured for an additional 20 h. Aliquots of the exposed cells were removed at 4 and 24 h in order to quantify DNA adduct levels by 32P post-labeling and measure cell viability by cloning efficiency and flow cytometry. Gene expression profiles were developed by extracting total RNA from the control and exposed cells at 4 and 24 h, labeling with Cy3 or Cy5 and hybridizing to a human 350 gene array. Mutant frequencies in the Thymidine Kinase and Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyl Transferase genes were also determined. The 10alpha-(deoxyguanosin-N(2)-yl)-7alpha,8beta,9beta-trihydroxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo(a)pyrene (dG-N(2)-BPDE) adduct increased as a function of dose and was the only adduct identified. A dose-related decrease in cell viability was evident at 24 h, but not at 4 h. Cell death occurred by apoptosis. At 4 h, analysis of the gene expression profiles revealed that Glutathione Peroxidase and Gadd45 were consistently upregulated (greater than 1.5-fold and significantly (P < 0.001) greater than the control in two experiments) in response to 1.0 microM BPDE exposure. Fifteen genes were consistently down-regulated (less than 0.67-fold and significantly (P < 0.001) lower than the control in two experiments) at 4 h in cultures exposed to 1.0 microM BPDE. Genes with altered expression at 4 h included genes important in the progression of the cell-cycle and those that inhibit apoptosis. At 24 h post-exposure, 16 genes, involved in cell-cycle control, detoxification, and apoptosis were consistently upregulated; 10 genes were repressed in cultures exposed to the high dose of BPDE. Real-time quantitative PCR confirmed the differential expression of selected genes. These data suggest that changes in gene expression will help to identify effects of drugs and chemicals on molecular pathways in cells, and will provide useful information about the molecular responses associated with DNA damage. Of the endpoints evaluated, DNA adduct formation was the most sensitive indicator of DNA damage. DNA adduct formation was clearly evident at low doses, but the number of genes with significantly altered expression (P < 0.001) was minimal. Alterations in gene expression were more robust at doses associated with cellular toxicity and induction of mutations.

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