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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

Impact factor: 1.246

ISSN Print: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.2014012066
pages 63-84

Epigenetic Targets of Arsenic: Emphasis on Epigenetic Modifications During Carcinogenesis

Ram Vinod Roy
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Young-Ok Son
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Poyil Pratheeshkumar
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Lei Wang
Graduate Center for Toxicology College of Medicine, University of Kentucky
John Andrew Hitron
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Sasidharan Padmaja Divya
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Rakesh D
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Donghern Kim
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Yuanqin Yin
Center for Research on Environmental Disease and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
Zhuo Zhang
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536
Xianglin Shi
Center for Research on Environmental Diseases, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536

ABSTRACT

DNA methylation and histone modification promote opening and closure of chromatin structure, which affects gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic markers regulate the dynamic nature of chromatin structure at different levels: DNA, histone, noncoding RNAs, as well as the higher-order chromatin structure. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that arsenic-induced carcinogenesis involves frequent changes in the epigenetic marker. However, progress in identifying arsenic-induced epigenetic changes has already been made using genome-wide approaches; the biological significance of these epigenetic changes remains unknown. Moreover, arsenic-induced changes in the chromatin state alter gene expression through the epigenetic mechanism. The current review provides a summary of recent literature regarding epigenetic changes caused by arsenic in carcinogenesis. We highlight the transgenerational studies needed to explicate the biological significance and toxicity of arsenic over a broad spectrum.