Analysis of microRNA expression and micronuclei frequency in workers exposed to vinyl chloride monomer in China

This study aimed to identify differently expressed miRNAs associated with vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and micronuclei (MN) frequency. In discovery stage, we used microarray to detect miRNAs expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes between six low and six high VCM-exposed workers grouped by medium cumulative exposure dose. Then we validated four miRNAs using real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and detected the micronuclei frequencies using cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay in 94 VCM-exposed workers and 53 healthy control subjects. The authors found eight miRNAs significantly downregulated and seven miRNAs upregulated (|Fold Change| >2; p < 0.05) in the high-exposure group through microarray. It was validated that miR-222-3p, miR-146a-5p and miR-151a-5p were downregulated, while miR-22-3p was upregulated in VCM-exposed group (all p < 0.01). Furthermore, it was found that expression of miR-22-3p was upregulated in the high micronuclei (MN) frequency subjects. The authors concluded that the findings suggested that these four miRNAs could be biomarkers of VCM exposure, and moreover miR-22-3p was correlated with MN frequency.

Authors: Feng NN, Fang Y, Zhang YN, Xu XW, Li Y, Wang JW, Li YL, Brandt-Rauf P, Xia ZL. ; Full Source: Epigenomics. 2017 Jul 27. doi: 10.2217/epi-2017-0028. [Epub ahead of print]