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We aimed to investigate the effect of PBDEs (47, 99, 209) on cellular events involved in epigenetic modification, inflammation, and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). We studied: 1) ERK1/2 phosphorylation; 2) Enhancer of Zester Homolog 2 (EZH2); 3) Histone H3 tri-methylated in lysine 27 (H3K27me3); 4) K-RAS; 5) silencing disabled homolog 2-interacting protein gene (DAB2IP), 6) let-7a; 7) Muc5AC/Muc5B, and 8) IL-8 in a 3D in vitro model of epithelium obtained with primary Normal Human Bronchial Epithelial cells (pNHBEs) or A549 cell line, chronically exposed to PBDEs (47, 99, 209). PBDEs (10 nM, 100 nM and 1 μM) increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and EZH2, H3K27me3, and K-RAS protein expression, while decreased DAB2IP and Let-7a transcripts in pNHBEs ALI culture. Furthermore PBDEs (47, 99) (100 nM) increased Muc5AC and Muc5B mRNA, and PBDE 47 (100 nM) IL-8 mRNA via EZH2 in pNHBEs. Finally, PBDEs (100 nM) affected EZH2, H3K27me3, K-RAS protein expression, and DAB2IP, Let-7a transcripts and cell invasion in A549 cells. Gsk343 (methyltransferase EZH2 inhibitor) (1 mM) and U0126 (inhibitor of MEK1/2) (10 μM) were used to show the specific effect of PBDEs. PBDE inhalation might promote inflammation/cancer via EZH2 methyltransferase activity and H3K27me3, k-RAS and ERk1/2 involvement, generating adverse health outcomes of the human lung. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Giulia Anzalone, Monica Moscato, Angela Marina Montalbano, Giusy Daniela Albano, Rosalia Gagliardo, Roberto Marchese, Alberto Fucarino, Chiara Lo Nigro, Gaspare Drago, Mirella Profita. PBDEs affect inflammatory and oncosuppressive mechanisms via the EZH2 methyltransferase in airway epithelial cells. Life sciences. 2021 Oct 01;282:119827

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PMID: 34273373

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