Okadaic acid (OA) is one of the most common and highly distributed marine toxins. It can be accumulated in several molluscs and other marine organisms and cause acute gastrointestinal symptoms after oral consumption by humans, called diarrheic shellfish poisoning. However other toxic effects beyond these gastrointestinal symptoms were also reported. Thus, OA was found to induce important chromosomal abnormalities and other genetic injuries that can lead to severe pathologies, including cancer. Furthermore, the relationship between OA and carcinogenic processes has been previously demonstrated in in vivo studies with rodents, and also suggested in human epidemiological studies. In this context, further research is required to better understand the underlying mechanisms of OA-related tumourigenesis. In a previous study, we identified 247 genes differentially expressed in SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells exposed to 100. nM OA at different times (3, 24 and 48. h) by means of suppression subtractive hybridization. These genes were involved in relevant cell functions such as signal transduction, cell cycle, metabolism, and transcription and translation processes. However, due to the high potential percentage of false positives that may be obtained by this approach, results from SSH are recommended to be analyzed by an independent method. In the present study, we selected ten genes related to cancer initiation or progression, directly or indirectly, for further quantitative PCR analysis (ANAPC13, PTTG1, CALM2, CLU, HN1, MALAT1, MAPRE2, MLLT11, SGA-81M and TAX1BP1). Results obtained showed important alterations in the expression patterns of all the genes evaluated at one or more treatment times, providing, for the first time, a possible explanation at the molecular level of the potential relationship between the consumption of OA-contaminated shellfish and the incidence of different cancers in humans. Nevertheless, given the complexity of this process, more exhaustive studies are required before drawing any final conclusion.
- Cancer-related genes
- Gene expression
- Okadaic acid
- SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health