Children exposed to endocrine disruptors are hypothesized to be susceptible for cancer development later in life. Identifying functional biomarkers of specific exposures may indicate predisposition for this disease. The objectives of this study were to identify protein biomarkers of 1) effect and 2) susceptibility for cancer from the blood of girls exposed to select environmental chemicals. In prepubertal girls, urine concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA), genistein, mono-ethyl hexylphthalate (MEHP) and mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) were used to identify girls in the top quintile of exposure for each of these environmental chemicals, and age-matched prepubertal girls with urine analyte concentrations below the median. Blood samples of these girls were depleted of the seven most abundant proteins using human-specific affinity spin columns. Using isobaric Tandem Mass Tags and quantitative mass spectrometry (TMT-MS), 51, 34, 57 and 47 differentially expressed proteins were identified from the blood of prepubertal girls with high urine concentrations of BPA, genistein, MEHP and MBzP, respectively, compared to controls. The data demonstrates the potential of proteomic technology to not only provide biomarkers of effect from aminimally invasive source of biological material, blood, but to identify protein molecules that are intimately involved in the pathobiology of cancer. The differentially regulated cancer associated proteins in girls with high concentrations of BPA and genistein are consistent with reported roles of BPA in carcinogenesis and of genistein in mammary cancer prevention, respectively.
Keywords: biomarkers; blood; cancer; girls; proteomics; toxicology.