Discrimination of vanadium from zinc using gene profiling in human bronchial epithelial cells.
We hypothesized that gene expression profiling may discriminate vanadium from zinc in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs). RNA from HBECs exposed to vehicle, V (50 microM), or Zn (50 microM) for 4 hr (n = 4 paired experiments) was hybridized to Affymetrix Hu133A chips. Using one-class t-test with p < 0.01, we identified 140 and 76 genes with treatment:control ratios > or = 2.0 or < or = 0.5 for V and Zn, respectively. We then categorized these genes into functional pathways and compared the number of genes in each pathway between V and Zn using Fisher's exact test. Three pathways regulating gene transcription, inflammatory response, and cell proliferation distinguished V from Zn. When genes in these three pathways were matched with the 163 genes flagged by the same statistical filtration for V:Zn ratios, 12 genes were identified. The hierarchical clustering analysis showed that these 12 genes discriminated V from Zn and consisted of two clusters. Cluster 1 genes (ZBTB1, PML, ZNF44, SIX1, BCL6, ZNF450) were down-regulated by V and involved in gene transcription, whereas cluster 2 genes (IL8, IL1A, PTGS2, DTR, TNFAIP3, CXCL3) were up-regulated and linked to inflammatory response and cell proliferation. Also, metallothionein 1 genes (MT1F, MT1G, MT1K) were up-regulated by Zn only. Thus, using microarray analysis, we identified a small set of genes that may be used as biomarkers for discriminating V from Zn. The novel genes and pathways identified by the microarray may help us understand the pathogenesis of health effects caused by environmental V and Zn exposure.
Li, Z; Stonehuerner, J; Devlin, RB; Huang, Y-CT
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