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Bassig B.A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Zhang L.,University of California at Berkeley | Cawthon R.M.,University of Utah | Smith M.T.,University of California at Berkeley | And 9 more authors.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis | Year: 2014

Exposure to benzene, a known leukemogen and probable lymphomagen, has been demonstrated to result in oxidative stress, which has previously been associated with altered telomere length (TL). TL specifically has been associated with several health outcomes in epidemiologic studies, including cancer risk, and has been demonstrated to be altered following exposure to a variety of chemical agents. To evaluate the association between benzene exposure and TL, we measured TL by monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR in 43 workers exposed to high levels of benzene and 43 age and sex-matched unexposed workers in Shanghai, China. Benzene exposure levels were monitored using organic vapor passive dosimetry badges before phlebotomy. The median benzene exposure level in exposed workers was 31 ppm. The mean TL in controls, workers exposed to levels of benzene below the median (≤31 ppm), and above the median (>31 ppm) was 1.26±0.17, 1.25±0.16, and 1.37±0.23, respectively. Mean TL was significantly elevated in workers exposed to >31 ppm of benzene compared with controls (P=0.03). Our findings provide evidence that high levels of occupational benzene exposure are associated with TL. © [2014]. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Source

Bassig B.A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Zhang L.,University of California at Berkeley | Vermeulen R.,University Utrecht | Tang X.,Guangdong Poison Control Center | And 23 more authors.
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2016

Benzene, formaldehyde (FA) and trichloroethylene (TCE) are ubiquitous chemicals in workplaces and the general environment. Benzene is an established myeloid leukemogen and probable lymphomagen. FA is classified as a myeloid leukemogen but has not been associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), whereas TCE has been associated with NHL but not myeloid leukemia. Epidemiologic associations between FA and myeloid leukemia, and between benzene, TCE and NHL are, however, still debated. Previously, we showed that these chemicals are associated with hematotoxicity in cross-sectional studies of factory workers in China, which included extensive personal monitoring and biological sample collection. Here, we compare and contrast patterns of hematotoxicity, monosomy 7 in myeloid progenitor cells (MPCs), and B-cell activation biomarkers across these studies to further evaluate possible mechanisms of action and consistency of effects with observed hematologic cancer risks. Workers exposed to benzene or FA, but not TCE, showed declines in cell types derived from MPCs, including granulocytes and platelets. Alterations in lymphoid cell types, including B cells and CD4+ T cells, and B-cell activation markers were apparent in workers exposed to benzene or TCE. Given that alterations in myeloid and lymphoid cell types are associated with hematological malignancies, our data provide biologic insight into the epidemiological evidence linking benzene and FA exposure with myeloid leukemia risk, and TCE and benzene exposure with NHL risk. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press 2016. Source

Zhang L.,University of California at Berkeley | Lan Q.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Guo W.,University of California at Berkeley | Hubbard A.E.,University of California at Berkeley | And 9 more authors.
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2011

Evidence suggests that de novo, therapy-related and benzeneinduced acute myeloid leukemias (AML) occur via similar cytogenetic and genetic pathways, several of which involve aneuploidy, the loss or gain of chromosomes. Aneuploidy of specific chromosomes has been detected in benzene-related leukemia patients as well as in healthy benzene-exposed workers, suggesting that aneuploidy precedes and may be a potential mechanism underlying benzene-induced leukemia. Here, we analyzed the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 47 exposed workers and 27 unexposed controls using a novel OctoChrome fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique that simultaneously detects aneuploidy in all 24 chromosomes. Through this chromosome-wide aneuploidy study (CWAS) approach, we found heterogeneity in the monosomy and trisomy rates of the 22 autosomes when plotted against continuous benzene exposure. In addition, statistically significant, chromosome-specific increases in the rates of monosomy [5,6, 7, 10, 16 and 19] and trisomy [5,6, 7, 8, 10, 14, 16, 21 and 22] were found to be dose dependently associated with benzene exposure. Furthermore, significantly higher rates of monosomy and trisomy were observed in a priori defined 'susceptible' chromosome sets compared with all other chromosomes. Together, these findings confirm that benzene exposure is associated with specific chromosomal aneuploidies in hematopoietic cells, which suggests that such aneuploidies may play roles in benzene-induced leukemogenesis. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Shen M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Zhang L.,University of California at Berkeley | Lee K.-M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Lee K.-M.,Korea University | And 8 more authors.
Experimental and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Benzene, a recognized hematotoxicant and carcinogen, can damage the human immune system. We studied the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in innate immunity and benzene hematotoxicity in a cross-sectional study of workers exposed to benzene (250 workers and 140 controls). A total of 1,236 tag SNPs in 149 gene regions of six pathways were included in the analysis. Six gene regions were significant for their association with white blood cell (WBC) counts (MBP, VCAM1, ALOX5, MPO, RAC2, and CRP) based on gene-region (P < 0.05) and SNP analyses (FDR < 0.05). VCAM1 rs3176867, ALOX5 rs7099684, and MPO rs2071409 were the three most significant SNPs. They showed similar effects on WBC subtypes, especially granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes. A 3-SNP block in ALOXE3 (rs7215658, rs9892383, and rs3027208) showed a global association (omnibus P = 0.0008) with WBCs even though the three SNPs were not significant individually. Our study suggests that polymorphisms in innate immunity genes may play a role in benzene-induced hematotoxicity; however, independent replication is necessary. Source

Thomas R.,University of California at Berkeley | Mchale C.M.,University of California at Berkeley | Lan Q.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Hubbard A.E.,University of California at Berkeley | And 7 more authors.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis | Year: 2013

The mechanism of toxicity of the leukemogen benzene is not entirely known. This pilot study used RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) technology to examine the effect of benzene exposure on gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from 10 workers occupationally exposed to high levels of benzene (≥5 ppm) in air and 10 matched unexposed control workers, from a large study (n = 125) in which gene expression was previously measured by microarray. RNA-seq is more sensitive and has a wider dynamic range for the quantification of gene expression. Further, it has the ability to detect novel transcripts and alternative splice variants. The main conclusions from our analysis of the 20 workers by RNA-seq are as follows: The Pearson correlation between the two technical replicates for the RNA-seq experiments was 0.98 and the correlation between RNA-seq and microarray signals for the 20 subjects was around 0.6. 60% of the transcripts with detected reads from the RNA-seq experiments did not have corresponding probes on the microarrays. Fifty-three percent of the transcripts detected by RNA-seq and 99% of those with probes on the microarray were protein-coding. There was a significant overlap (P < 0.05) in transcripts declared differentially expressed due to benzene exposure using the two technologies. About 20% of the transcripts declared differentially expressed using the RNA-seq data were non-coding transcripts. Six transcripts were determined (false-discovery rate < 0.05) to be alternatively spliced as a result of benzene exposure. Overall, this pilot study shows that RNA-seq can complement the information obtained by microarray in the analysis of changes in transcript expression from chemical exposures. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 54:566-573, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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