Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are synthetic chemical substances that accumulate in our environment. POPs such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) have been classified as carcinogenic to humans and animals. Due to their resistance to biodegradation humans are still exposed to these compounds worldwide. We aim to evaluate the miRNA and transcriptomic response of a human population exposed to POPs. The miRNA and transcriptomic response was measured in blood of healthy subjects by microarray technology and associated with the serum concentrations of six PCB congeners, DDE (a common DDT metabolite), and HCB. A total of 93 miRNA levels appeared significantly associated with the POP-exposure (FDR <0.05). The miRNA profile includes four tumor suppressor miRNAs, namely miR-193a- 3p, miR-152, miR-31-5p and miR-34a-5p. Integration of the miRNA profile with the transcriptome profile suggests an interaction with oncogenes such as MYC, CCND1, BCL2 and VEGFA. We have shown that exposure to POPs is associated with human miRNA and transcriptomic responses. The identified miRNAs and target genes are related to various types of cancer and involved in relevant signaling pathways like wnt and p53. Therefore, these miRNAs may have great potential to contribute to biomarker-based environmental health risk assessment.
- FALSE DISCOVERY RATE
- B-CELL LYMPHOMA