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Study of methylmercury exposure on the expression of the DNMT1 and DNMT3A genes, and on the DNA methylation profile, in Amazonian riverside communities exposed to metal, via diet

Grant number: 20/14678-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Toxicological Analysis
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Rafael Mazzaron Barcelos
Grantee:Maysa Soares de Camargo Fernandes
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/24069-3 - ReSEARCH: Recognizing Signatures of the Exposome to Anticipate the Risks for a Continuous Health, AP.TEM


Epidemiological studies show that mercury (Hg), especially methylmercury (MeHg), can induce oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and DNA damage; in addition, recent studies suggest that exposure to metal is also related to changes in epigenetic status. However, there is still a gap regarding how exposure to Hg can impact the expression of genes related to the DNA methylation profile and, consequently, modulate the toxicity induced by exposure to metal. In this context, the present study aims to assess the impact of exposure to Hg on the global DNA methylation profile, as well as the expression of the DNMT1 and DNMT3A genes, in Amazonian riverside communities exposed to MeHg, via diet. Metal concentrations in the blood will be determined by ICP-MS. Analysis of global DNA methylation will be evaluated by determining the content of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) by ELISA and the expression of the DNMT1 and DNMT3A genes will be assessed by RT-qPCR. Thus, it is expected that the results obtained will assist in a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms related to the interactions between the metal and the various epigenetic events.

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