Studies suggest that exposure to toxic metals, such as lead (Pb) may induce various epigenetic changes, such as changes in DNA methylation profile, chromatin remodeling, as well as the expression of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), among them micro RNAs (miRNAs). Several miRNAs are being detected and related to metal exposure; however, there are still many differences in the expression profiles of these miRNAs, which may be due to inter individual variability and due to the different levels of exposure in which individuals are exposed. Thus, the present project aims to identify and quantify the expression of miR-520c-3p, miR-148a, miR-141, miR-211, miR-572 and miR-130b in automobile battery factory workers exposed to Pb. For that, Pb concentrations in blood and plasma will be determined by ICP-MS and the expression of these ncRNAs will be quantified by qPCR; still, a questionnaire about the socio-demographic data of these individuals will also be applied, in order to adjust the several variables that may interfere in the interpretation of the data. Thus, it is expected that the results obtained will aid in a better understanding of the mechanisms and impact of exposure to Pb on the profile of miRNAs in individuals exposed to Pb.
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