It has been known that some substances, not classifiableas mutagens, are actually epigenetic modulators and inducechanges in DNA methylation, in the acetylation / deacetylation ofhistones and can modify the endo-cellular synthesis of somemiRNAs. By inducing epigenetic modifications, they do notcause genetic mutations, they escape the mutagenesis and carcinogenesistests but can equally induce phenotypic effects similarto those of a mutagen / carcinogen.For years arsenic, a well-known high-dose poison, a contaminantof drinking water, has been the subject of debates on its low-dosemutagenicity. Used, unexpectedly, in the chemotherapy of somecancers, it showed mutagenic effects so that the scientific community,until a few years ago, did not classify it as a mutagen.Some responses have recently come from the use, in our lab, ofstabilized cell lines, such as the V79-Cl3 cells from HamsterChinese, with which was clarified that arsenic, at doses similar tothose contained in drinking water, is not a mutagen but an epimutagenthat is a substance capable of inducing epigeneticchanges (in particular in DNA methylation), modificationswhich, under certain conditions, can indirectly lead to equallyproblematic situations for the cell or for an organism.Another cell line used as a model is represented by Caco-2 cells.This cell line, obtained from human colon carcinoma, if properlycultivated up to the differentiation of cells, can also represent amodel of normaloid intestinal epithelium on which it is possibleto perform compatibility studies, toxicity, genotoxicity and epigenotoxicitytests. Preliminary methylomic studies, carried out inour lab, have given interesting indications that the extracts ofsome foods are able to contrast the epi-mutagenic effect of arsenicopening exciting scenarios of applied research, useful to therecent trend of the agro-food industry, such as the "functionalizing"of food or drinks.
|Title of host publication||Atti della Scuola Permanente per l’Aggiornamento degli Insegnanti di Scienze Sperimentali “I modelli nelle Scienze”|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|