Characterizing the Genetic Basis for Nicotine Induced Cancer Development: A Transcriptome Sequencing Study

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 18;8(6):e67252. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067252. Print 2013.

Abstract

Nicotine is a known risk factor for cancer development and has been shown to alter gene expression in cells and tissue upon exposure. We used Illumina® Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology to gain unbiased biological insight into the transcriptome of normal epithelial cells (MCF-10A) to nicotine exposure. We generated expression data from 54,699 transcripts using triplicates of control and nicotine stressed cells. As a result, we identified 138 differentially expressed transcripts, including 39 uncharacterized genes. Additionally, 173 transcripts that are primarily associated with DNA replication, recombination, and repair showed evidence for alternative splicing. We discovered the greatest nicotine stress response by HPCAL4 (up-regulated by 4.71 fold) and NPAS3 (down-regulated by -2.73 fold); both are genes that have not been previously implicated in nicotine exposure but are linked to cancer. We also discovered significant down-regulation (-2.3 fold) and alternative splicing of NEAT1 (lncRNA) that may have an important, yet undiscovered regulatory role. Gene ontology analysis revealed nicotine exposure influenced genes involved in cellular and metabolic processes. This study reveals previously unknown consequences of nicotine stress on the transcriptome of normal breast epithelial cells and provides insight into the underlying biological influence of nicotine on normal cells, marking the foundation for future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Quality Control
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptome*

Substances

  • Nicotine

Grant support

This work was supported by the Medical Informatics and Systems Division director's fund at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.