MTH1 is involved in the toxic and carcinogenic long-term effects induced by zinc oxide and cobalt nanoparticles.

Irene Barguilla Moreno, B. Barszczewska, Balasubramanyam Annangi ., Josefa Domenech Cabrera, Maria Antonia Velazquez Henar, Ricardo Marcos Dauder, Alba Hernandez Bonilla

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The nanoparticles (NPs) exposure-related oxidative stress is considered among the main causes of the toxic effects induced by these materials. However, the importance of this mechanism has been mostly explored at short term. Previous experience with cells chronically exposed to ZnO and Co NPs hinted to the existence of an adaptative mechanism contributing to the development of oncogenic features. MTH1 is a well-described enzyme expressed exclusively in cancer cells and required to avoid the detrimental consequences of its high prooxidant microenvironment. In the present work, a significantly marked overexpression was found when MTH1 levels were monitored in long-term ZnO and Co NP-exposed cells, a fact that correlates with acquired 2.5-fold and 3.75-fold resistance to the ZnO and Co NPs treatment, respectively. The forced stable inhibition of Mth1 expression by shRNA, followed by 6 additional weeks of exposure, significantly reduced this acquired resistance and sensitized cells to the oxidizing agents H2O2 and KBrO3. When the oncogenic phenotype of Mth1 knock-down cells was evaluated, we found a decrease in several oncogenic markers, including proliferation, anchorage-independent cell growth, and migration and invasion potential. Thus, MTH1 elicits here as a relevant player in the NPs-induced toxicity and carcinogenicity. This study is the first to give a mechanistic explanation for long-term NPs exposure-derived effects. We propose MTH1 as a candidate biomarker to unravel NPs potential genotoxic and carcinogenic effects, as its expression is expected to be elevated only under exposure conditions able to induce DNA damage and the acquisition of an oncogenic phenotype.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1073-1084
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2020

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