Urinary Benzene Biomarkers and DNA Methylation in Bulgarian Petrochemical Workers: Study Findings and Comparison of Linear and Beta Regression Models

Wei Jie Seow, Angela Cecilia Pesatori, Emmanuel Dimont, Peter B. Farmer, Benedetta Albetti, Adrienne S. Ettinger, Valentina Bollati, Claudia Bolognesi, Paola Roggieri, Teodor I. Panev, Tzveta Georgieva, Domenico Franco Merlo, Pier Alberto Bertazzi, Andrea A. Baccarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chronic occupational exposure to benzene is associated with an increased risk of hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The main objective of this study was to investigate the association between benzene exposure and DNA methylation, both in repeated elements and candidate genes, in a population of 158 Bulgarian petrochemical workers and 50 unexposed office workers. Exposure assessment included personal monitoring of airborne benzene at work and urinary biomarkers of benzene metabolism (S-phenylmercapturic acid [SPMA] and trans,trans-muconic acid [t,t-MA]) at the end of the work-shift. The median levels of airborne benzene, SPMA and t,t-MA in workers were 0.46 ppm, 15.5 μg/L and 711 μg/L respectively, and exposure levels were significantly lower in the controls. Repeated-element DNA methylation was measured in Alu and LINE-1, and gene-specific methylation in MAGE and p15. DNA methylation levels were not significantly different between exposed workers and controls (P>0.05). Both ordinary least squares (OLS) and beta-regression models were used to estimate benzene-methylation associations. Beta-regression showed better model specification, as reflected in improved coefficient of determination (pseudo R2) and Akaike's information criterion (AIC). In beta-regression, we found statistically significant reductions in LINE-1 (-0.15%, P

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50471
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 5 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Seow, W. J., Pesatori, A. C., Dimont, E., Farmer, P. B., Albetti, B., Ettinger, A. S., Bollati, V., Bolognesi, C., Roggieri, P., Panev, T. I., Georgieva, T., Merlo, D. F., Bertazzi, P. A., & Baccarelli, A. A. (2012). Urinary Benzene Biomarkers and DNA Methylation in Bulgarian Petrochemical Workers: Study Findings and Comparison of Linear and Beta Regression Models. PLoS One, 7(12), [e50471]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0050471